A series of bills filed late last session in the Rhode Island House to address diversity in that state’s judiciary have been refiled in 2017.
HB 5301 requires the judicial selection commission actively and aggressively solicit members of color to apply for judicial appointments, including practicing members of the Rhode Island Bar residing in border states.
HB 5302 provides any trial court seat currently filled by a “person of color” can only be filled in the future by another “person of color.”
HB 5303 would guarantee at least one-third of the seats on the 9-member Judicial Nominating Commission go to “persons of color” and require the governor to make the corresponding appointments.
All three bills have been filed in the House Judiciary Committee.