SENATE CONFEREES NAMED
May 4, 2016 – Senate conferees have been named for HB 3162. Conferees are President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, and Senators Ron Justice, Anthony Sykes, Greg Treat, Nathan Dahm, Earl Garrison and Randy Bass.
More information about the current judicial selection process can be found at www.courtfacts.org.
Watch for future OBA communication updates for movement on the bill.
April 21, 2016 – The Senate yesterday amended HB 3162 to expand its control over all judicial appointments, voted to strike the title and passed the measure 33-13. The bill now returns to the House for consideration. The bill will end up in conference, and more amendments are expected.
ABOUT THIS BILL
This bill significantly impacts judicial selection and in its current form does the following:
• This bill reduces the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) to secretarial help and requires ALL applicants to be advanced to the Governor’s desk, no longer only the three best qualified.
• This bill requires the JNC to use a new secret rating system that no one is required to follow.
• The bill creates a “select committee of the Legislature” made up of five House and five Senate members – four from the party holding a majority in each house, creating a gang of eight politicians who will have the ultimate power to select judges and justices.
• This bill adds language to our Constitution requiring criminal background checks and financial inquiries for every applicant, unnecessarily wasting money and time to fill vacancies.
The OBA has tried to work with Legislative leadership to understand the real issue. Transparency? No, it proposes a secret rating system. Greater participation by the people? No, it creates a “select committee” with super legislative powers. Smaller government? No, it adds to the process and wastes state funds. Control of the judiciary? Absolutely, it is the perfect vehicle for pre-ordained candidates. Who is this for? The people who have the power, money and influence to control the political process and have their friends appointed. The Legislature writes the laws, controls the purse strings and now they want to control our judicial selection.
Your call to the members of the Rules Committee really matters. Some members of the Committee have said they are uncertain about this bill. I know you are busy. Are you too busy to protect our judiciary independence? I urge you to let your voice be heard and contact the Rules Committee members listed below. At this late stage a phone call is the best way to let them know your opinion.
Call now and let your voice be heard!
Related: Will We Let History Repeat Itself? by OBA President Garvin A. Isaacs