Judicial Qualifications & Selection
A Tier II Legislative Priority for the League of Women Voters of Alabama in 2009
Judges should be chosen by a form of merit selection with reappointment subject to approval of the voters.
to watch | About the
legislation | LWVAL's
position | Progress of
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HB66 - Sponsored
by Representative DeMarco
SB100 - Sponsored by Senator Smitherman
And see HB55 and SB99 in Legislative Report section "Voting Access and Election Practices".
LWVAL is also monitoring HB15, HB17, and HB548. See Monitored Legislation to read about these bills that address Judicial Qualifications & Selection.
About the legislation
HB66 (DeMarco) and SB28 (Bedford) - Summary: Currently, persons serving on the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, or as a circuit court judge or a district court judge must be licensed to practice law in Alabama. This bill would require that persons elected or appointed to serve on the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals, and Court of Criminal Appeals must additionally have a combined total of 10 years or more of licensure to practice law. Persons serving as a circuit court judge would additionally be required to have a combined total of five years of licensure to practice law. Persons serving as a district court judge would additionally be required to have a combined total of three years of licensure to practice law. Legislation would apply to those taking office (whether elected or appointed) after January 1, 2010.
Note: SB28 sets the same qualifications but date of application is after January 1, 2009.
- Synopsis: Currently, the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 provides for
filling of vacancies in judicial offices. Several judicial circuits
have local constitutional amendments relating to procedures for filling
vacant judicial offices. This bill would enact a statewide plan
establishing judicial vacancy commissions for the filling of judicial
office vacancies, except those judicial circuits having judicial
vacancy commissions provided by local constitutional amendments to the
LWVAL supports HB66 and SB28 Substitute 110061-1.
LWVAL supports SB100
SB100 was prefiled 2/3/09 and assigned to the Senate Committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, & Elections (Senate C&E). 3/10/09 3rd read pending favorable from CCFE&E.
LWVAL has expressed support for HB66 and SB28 Substitute 110061-1 and SB100.