Gavel Grab

Bills Introduced for Popular Election of Hawaii Judges

2008_HI_ProofIn still another state, a legislature is being asked to overhaul a merit selection system for choosing judges. In this case, Hawaii legislators are being asked to change the law to allow popular election of judges, who would be subject to the consent of the state Senate for serving subsequent terms.

Honolulu Civil Beat reports that bills have been introduced in both chambers of the legislature to study and enable elimination of the judicial selection commission that now screens and recommends judicial candidates for appointment, and to allow for popular election of judges. Currently,  the governor appoints appellate and circuit court judges, and the Chief Justice appoints district and family court judges. The state Senate must confirm the appointees.

You can view the Senate bill by clicking here. “The legislation is ripe for a lively debate,” the public affairs publication said about this legislation and another proposal, to change how the attorney general and lieutenant governor are selected.

Merit selection plans also are under attack in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Alaska.

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