Election 2016: Georgia Amendment 3 – Should the senate confirm picks to the judicial disciplinary commission? Most states say no. Only Texas lets senate reject picks made by judiciary itself.

As previously noted, Georgia’s Amendment 3 would give the legislature power over the state’s judicial disciplinary commission (called the Judicial Qualifications Commission) that few if any states grant to their legislature. Under the proposal and implementing legislation the legislature sets the membership of the JQC, something most states do not allow. Moreover, the plan calls for a majority of the new JQC to be picked by legislative leaders, something no other state (other the Virginia) allows to occur.

The third element in play is for all JQC members picked by the House/Senate leadership (4), the Governor (1), or the Supreme Court (2) to be subject to Senate confirmation.

Appointments to the Judicial Qualifications Commission shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate as provided for by general law.

Most states do not allow for any such confirmation votes. Only 15 states have such votes, in a 16th (Virginia) all members of the judicial disciplinary commission are picked by the legislature therefore a confirmation vote is redundant.

Moreover, where states do allow for legislative confirmation votes, they do not allow the legislature the power to reject those appointments made by the judiciary/judges. Only 1 state, Texas, allows that state’s senate the power to confirm, or conversely reject, appointments made by the judiciary.

In all other states the power to confirm is limited to picks made by the Governor, the state bar, or by legislative leaders themselves.

Details below the fold.

State Body Confirmation?
Alaska Committee on Judicial Conduct Legislature confirms Governor’s picks
Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Connecticut Judicial Review Council Legislature confirms Governor’s picks
Idaho Judicial Council Senate confirms Governor’s and Bar’s picks
Iowa Judicial Qualifications Commission Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards Senate confirms Governor’s picks, but only of non-judges (i.e. lawyers and non-lawyers)
North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission Legislature approves President Pro Tempore of Senate (1) and Speaker of the House (1) picks
Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Rhode Island Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct Senate confirms all members
Utah Judicial Conduct Commission Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Wisconsin Judicial Commission Senate confirms Governor’s picks
Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics Senate confirms Governor’s picks