At a recent Governor’s Council meeting the question arose as to what the purpose is for the Judicial Nominating Commission and whether it should be abolished.
The Judicial Nominating Commission was established by Governor Dukakis to help in the selection process for the judicial nominations. When created the commission was reflective of society having a membership that was no more than 50 percent lawyers. The commission was responsible for doing background checks on potential nominees and to assess their fitness for office.
Over the years the commission has changed, the membership is now solely lawyers and the function of background checks has been severely limited.
Their current function is to review applications made by potential nominees and contact lawyers and members of the judiciary to see if they would make a good nominee.
Concerns from the general public are absent and the whole process is shrouded in secrecy. Guidelines for timetables, proper filling out of the application are ignored.
Questions raised at a recent Governor’s Council meeting, made it difficult to comprehend its value.
While the Governor’s Council itself does serve a function, vetting the Governor’s nominations in a public forum, the Judicial Nominating Committee performs no discernible function in complete secrecy.
As with all things with the government, nothing is free.
The council questioned whether the JNC should exist, perhaps it is time it should go.
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Candidate for Governor's Council District Two
Primary Thursday September 6, 2012