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Model Judicial Selection Provisions

NCJ Number
Date Published
24 pages
These model judicial selection provisions proposed by the American Judicature Society detail constitutional provisions for establishing a judicial nominating commission plan, model court rules or legislation for implementing a commission plan, and procedures for establishing a commission plan by executive order or legislation.
The model judicial merit selection plan establishes a nonpartisan nominating commission composed of both lawyers and nonlawyers who recruit and screen applicants before submitting the names of the most qualified candidates to an appointing authority. The appointing authority then makes the final selection after conducting further investigative proceedings. These elements of a judicial selection plan are present in each of 34 States currently using some form of a merit or commission plan for judicial selection. Apart from the aforementioned fundamental characteristics, the legal bases and forms of commission plans vary. Some States have established their plans through constitutional provisions with accompanying implementing court rules or legislation. Other States have based their plans on legislation or executive orders. Some States have one commission for all vacancies in the State, and others have one commission for each judicial district in the State. The proposed merit plan includes some form of retention review. 8 suggested readings.