Chief Sponsor: Peter C. Knudson

House Sponsor: Mike K. McKell


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Judicial Selection Act regarding judicial nominating
10     commissions.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     provides that if a judicial nominating commission is considering applicants for more
14     than one vacancy existing in a court at the same time, the judicial nominating
15     commission shall include in the list it sends to the governor one additional applicant
16     for each additional vacancy.
17     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18          None
19     Other Special Clauses:
20          This bill provides a special effective date.
21     Utah Code Sections Affected:
22     AMENDS:
23          78A-10-103, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 134

25     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26          Section 1. Section 78A-10-103 is amended to read:
27          78A-10-103. Procedures governing meetings of judicial nominating commissions.
28          (1) The Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice shall:
29          (a) in consultation with the Judicial Council, enact rules establishing procedures

30     governing the meetings of the judicial nominating commissions in accordance with Title 63G,
31     Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act; and
32          (b) ensure that those procedures include:
33          (i) a minimum recruitment period of at least 30 days but not more than 90 days, unless
34     fewer than nine applications are received for a judicial vacancy, in which case the recruitment
35     period may be extended up to 30 days;
36          (ii) standards for maintaining the confidentiality of the applications and related
37     documents;
38          (iii) standards governing the release of applicant names before nomination;
39          (iv) standards for destroying the records of the names of applicants, applications, and
40     related documents upon completion of the nominating process;
41          (v) an opportunity for public comment concerning the nominating process,
42     qualifications for judicial office, and individual applicants;
43          (vi) evaluation criteria for the selection of judicial nominees;
44          (vii) procedures for taking summary minutes at nominating commission meetings;
45          (viii) procedures for simultaneously forwarding the names of nominees to the
46     governor, the president of the Senate, and the Office of Legislative Research and General
47     Counsel;
48          (ix) standards governing a nominating commissioner's disqualification and inability to
49     serve; and
50          (x) procedures that require the Administrative Office of the Courts to immediately
51     inform the governor when a judge is removed, resigns, or retires.
52          (2) In determining which of the applicants are the most qualified, the nominating
53     commissions shall determine by a majority vote of the commissioners present which of the
54     applicants best possess the ability, temperament, training, and experience that qualifies them
55     for the office.
56          (3) (a) [The] Except as provided under Subsection (3)(b):
57          (i) the appellate court nominating commission shall certify to the governor a list of the

58     seven most qualified applicants per vacancy; and
59          [(b)] (ii) trial court nominating commissions shall certify to the governor a list of the
60     five most qualified applicants per vacancy.
61          (b) If a nominating commission is considering applicants for more than one judicial
62     vacancy existing at the same time and for the same court, the nominating commission shall
63     include one additional applicant for each additional vacancy in the court in the list of applicants
64     the commission certifies to the governor.
65          (4) Nominating commissions shall ensure that the list of applicants submitted to the
66     governor:
67          (a) meet the qualifications required by law to fill the office; and
68          (b) are willing to serve.
69          (5) In determining which of the applicants are the most qualified, nominating
70     commissions may not decline to submit a candidate's name to the governor merely because:
71          (a) the nominating commission had declined to submit that candidate's name to the
72     governor to fill a previous vacancy;
73          (b) a previous nominating commission had declined to submit that candidate's name to
74     the governor; or
75          (c) that nominating commission or a previous nominating commission had submitted
76     the applicant's name to the governor and the governor selected someone else to fill the vacancy.
77          (6) A judicial nominating commission may not nominate a justice or judge who was
78     not retained by the voters for the office for which the justice or judge was defeated until after
79     the expiration of that term of office.
80          (7) Judicial nominating commissions are exempt from the requirements of Title 52,
81     Chapter 4, Open and Public Meetings Act.
82          Section 2. Effective date.
83          If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect
84     upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
85     Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto,

86     the date of veto override.