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Methods of Judicial Selection: Utah

Judicial Nominating Commissions

There are nine judicial nominating commissions in Utah: one for the appellate courts and one for the district and juvenile courts in each of the state's eight judicial districts. Each judicial nominating commission is composed of seven members. The governor appoints six members, no less than two and no more than four of whom may be lawyers. Two of the lawyer members must be appointed from a list of nominees submitted by the Utah State Bar. The chief justice appoints another member of the Utah Judicial Council to serve as a nonvoting member of each commission. No more than four members of each commission may be members of the same political party, and commission members must reside in the judicial district they serve. Commission members are limited to a single, four-year term.

When a vacancy occurs on the supreme court or court of appeals, the appellate court nominating commission screens applicants for the vacancy and submits the names of seven nominees to the governor. For vacancies on the trial courts, the appropriate commission submits the names of five nominees. The governor must appoint a nominee to fill the vacancy within thirty days, and the senate must confirm or reject the appointment within sixty days. Click here for the statutes describing the composition of the nominating commissions, and click here for the commissions' manual of procedures.

For more information, see Judicial Merit Selection: Current Status.

Nominating Commission Costs

  • $1000 per commission (2007)