Gavel to Gavel is a newsletter of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).

Our nation’s state courts are more and more the focus of legislative attention. Whether it is changes to the court structure or alterations to the terms of the judges who serve, there is a growing need for a reliable, national overview. Since 2006, the National Center for State Courts’ Gavel to Gavel has helped identify trends in legislative activity as it relates to the courts in seven broad areas:

  1. Judicial selection (e.g. merit selection, partisan elections)
  2. Judicial qualifications and terms (e.g. mandatory retirement age)
  3. Judicial rule making authority
  4. Structural court changes (e.g. merger of courts, division of existing courts)
  5. Jurisdiction (e.g. court stripping or court expanding)
  6. Salary and budget
  7. Other areas that affect the courts

Thanks to an agreement with Thomson Reuters, NCSC will be able to access legislative bill tracking information and provide updates throughout the legislative sessions. In addition to updates on new bills and committee or floor activity, each weekly issue will focus on one area. If you have an interest in a particular topic, let us know and it may appear as a focus in an upcoming issue.

Because of the sheer volume of bills and resolutions introduced every year addressing the courts, Gavel to Gavel will not be able to track and report on every bill, but will be able to provide a general analysis of what is happening throughout all 50 states. If you know of a bill that should be included, let us know.

Any questions and feedback can be sent to the editor of Gavel to Gavel, Bill Raftery at wraftery@ncsc.org.

To subscribe to Gavel to Gavel or other NCSC Newsletters, click here.

NCSC is the organization courts turn to for authoritative knowledge and information, because its efforts are directed by collaborative work with the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, and other associations of judicial leaders.

Read more about the National Center for State Courts.