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State of New Hampshire

History of Reform Efforts: New Hampshire

Unsuccessful Reform Efforts

2001
The senate approved a constitutional amendment (CACR 16) that would have established a judicial nominating commission. The commission would recommend qualified candidates for judicial appointment and would review judges for reappointment every 10 years. The proposal failed in the house.

Governor Shaheen vetoed a bill (HB 622) that would have prohibited the executive council from confirming a nominee to the supreme court within 60 days of the nomination and would have required the council to hold at least two public hearings on the nominee.

2002
The senate approved a constitutional amendment (CACR 33) that would have established an independent commission to recommend qualified candidates for judicial appointment. The proposal failed in the house.

The house passed a bill (HB 1100) that would have required the judicial conduct commission, created by the legislature in 2001, to review judges' performance every seven years. The proposal failed in the senate.

2003
The house rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have required senate approval of judicial appointments (CACR 3) and a bill that would have created a judicial nominating commission (HB 130).

 

In 2000, four justices of the New Hampshire Supreme Court came under fire. One justice resigned, two others faced impeachment hearings, and a third was impeached but not convicted. These events prompted a series of reform proposals aimed at strengthening the public's confidence in the judiciary.