SCS/SJR 51 - This constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, would modify the composition of the Appellate Judicial Commission and the selection process for judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
This act increases the number of individuals that the Appellate Judicial Commission nominates for vacancies in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals from three to four.
Currently, the Appellate Judicial Commission consists of seven members as follows: one Supreme Court judge, a member of the bar from each appellate district elected by members of the bar in that district, and a non-bar member citizen from each appellate district appointed by the Governor. This act replaces the judge member of the commission with an additional member appointed by the Governor. Members appointed by the Governor no longer must be non-bar members. The Governor will appoint one member from each appellate district and one from the state at large. The appointed members will serve terms of four years. Their terms will be staggered so that a Governor will appoint two when taking office and two during the middle of his or her term. The Supreme Court will appoint a former Supreme Court or Court of Appeals judge to serve as a nonvoting member of the commission. The former judge cannot have been removed for cause or failed to be retained in a retention election. The changes to the Appellate Judicial Commission will take effect on January 15, 2013.