Constitution Article VIII Section 8

Judicial Department
Section 8
[Vacancies -- Nominating commissions -- Senate approval.]


Article VIII, Section 8.   [Vacancies -- Nominating commissions -- Senate approval.]

            (1) When a vacancy occurs in a court of record, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment from a list of at least three nominees certified to the governor by the Judicial Nominating Commission having authority over the vacancy. The governor shall fill the vacancy within 30 days after receiving the list of nominees. If the governor fails to fill the vacancy within the time prescribed, the chief justice of the Supreme Court shall within 20 days make the appointment from the list of nominees.

            (2) The Legislature by statute shall provide for the nominating commissions' composition and procedures. No member of the Legislature may serve as a member of, nor may the Legislature appoint members to, any Judicial Nominating Commission.

            (3) The Senate shall consider and render a decision on each judicial appointment within 60 days of the date of appointment. If necessary, the Senate shall convene itself in extraordinary session for the purpose of considering judicial appointments. The appointment shall be effective upon approval of a majority of all members of the Senate. If the Senate fails to approve the appointment, the office shall be considered vacant and a new nominating process shall commence.

            (4) Selection of judges shall be based solely upon consideration of fitness for office without regard to any partisan political consideration.

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