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State of District of Columbia

Judicial Selection in the States: District of Columbia

Overview

News

Yesterday the Alaska Senate State Affairs approved SJR 3, a constitutional amendment to give the governor control over the state s Judicial Council which serves...

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This session has seen two efforts to outright end judicial elections (partisan, nonpartisan, or yes/no retention) and provide instead for reappointment/reconfirmation: Oregon appellate judges (discussed...

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A plan to end elections for Maryland s Circuit Courts and replace then with an appointment/confirmation/reappointment/reconfirmation system has been shelved for 2015. According to news...

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A set of tables that provide detailed information about selection...

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Until Congress passed the District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970, the federal courts in D.C. exercised both federal and local jurisdiction. The 1970 legislation established the court of appeals and the superior court to assume responsibility for local jurisdiction. Judges of these courts are appointed to fifteen-year terms by the president with senate confirmation. The president appoints judges from lists submitted by the judicial nomination commission. Judges who seek reappointment to office upon the completion of their terms are evaluated by the judicial disabilities and tenure commission. Judges who are rated "well qualified" by the commission are automatically reappointed. Judges found to be "qualified" may be appointed by the president for an additional term, subject to senate confirmation. If the president chooses not to reappoint a "qualified" judge, or if the commission finds a judge "unqualified," the judicial nomination commission compiles a new list of candidates.