Feb 12 2013
South Dakota and Indiana may change the composition of their Merit Selection commissions in coming days,
if legislation introduced in both states continues to move forward.
Currently, Indiana’s nominating commission comprised of the Chief Justice, 3 nonattorneys (one from each Court of Appeals district) picked by the governor, and 3 attorneys elected by the attorneys of the state. The introduced bill would restrict the governor’s picks to selections from a list compiled by the four legislative leaders (House speaker, House minority leader, President pro tempore of the the Senate, and Senate minority leader).
In South Dakota , the Judicial Qualifications Commission would be altered so that the state bar would appoint only one person, instead of its current three. These would be replaced by two members appointed by the legislature, with one person selected by the House Speaker, and one person selected by the Senate President pro tempore.
We’re interested to see how these efforts develop in Indiana and South Dakota, and are glad to see legislators taking an interest in how their judges are selected. We hope that legislators here in Pennsylvania will take a cue from their colleagues, and make judicial selection reform a priority.