Judicial Qualifications & Selection, including merit selection
LWVAL Action Priority Level II - Monitoring occurs; action dependent on opportunity and available resources.
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Legend: = LWVAL's support for the legislation. = LWVAL's opposition to the legislation. = new bill activity; change from previous week's report such as new progress in the legislature and/or League action. Bill may be one newly added to the report. These updates are in green font.
LWVAL has taken a position on this bill:
HB 202 - Judges, appellate, and Supreme Court Justices and Attorney General, nonpartisan election, Appellate Court Nonpartisan Election Act, Secs. 17-6-20, 17-6-24, 17-6-25, 17-6-48, 17-13-8 am'd.
Sponsor(s): Representative England.
Summary/Synopsis: This bill would provide for the nonpartisan election of candidates for state attorney general and state appellate judicial office. The bill would require a special ballot for state attorney general and state appellate judicial candidates. The bill would provide for a filing fee to be paid by candidates for state attorney general and state appellate judicial office to the Secretary of State, to be split between the political parties. The bill would provide for filing with the Secretary of State an affidavit of indigency in lieu of payment of the filing fee. The bill also would provide that a person elected to a state appellate judicial office stands for reelection at the end of his or her term in the form of a retention election, rather than a contested election. The bill also would establish a judicial evaluation commission to evaluate performance of a state appellate judicial officer standing for reelection in a retention election. Membership is specified to include Alabama licensed attorneys, non-attorneys and judges, and there are diversity requirements.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL supports HB202.The judicial evaluation commission is an important step toward the merit selection of judges which the LWVAL supports. Requiring diversity on the commission, ballot layout specification by alphabetical order, and other provisions introduce fairness into the election process.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 2/07/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the
Summary/Synopsis: Under existing law, candidates for circuit or district court judgeships are nominated by political parties and are included on the general election ballots in a column under the party name and emblem. This bill would provide for the nonpartisan election of candidates for circuit and district court judgeships, would provide for a filing fee to be paid by the candidates to be deposited into the State General Fund, and would provide for filing with the Secretary of State an affidavit of indigency in lieu of payment of the filing fee.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL is monitoring HB346.This legislation does not have the same provisions of retention election and evaluation board that HB202 has for election of appellate judges.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 02/16/2012: First reading and referred to the