Bill Text - CACR15 (2007)

Relating to citizen review retention elections for judges. Providing that a judge shall be subject to a citizen review retention election at the biennial election next occurring after he or she has served for 2 years and subsequently at regular intervals which depend on the court in which the judge serves.


Revision: Jan. 11, 2010, midnight

CACR 15 – AS INTRODUCED

2007 SESSION

07-0664

06/04

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 15

RELATING TO: citizen review retention elections for judges.

PROVIDING THAT: a judge shall be subject to a citizen review retention election at the biennial election next occurring after he or she has served for 2 years and subsequently at regular intervals which depend on the court in which the judge serves.

SPONSORS: Rep. Crane, Hills 21; Rep. Ulery, Hills 27; Rep. L. Christiansen, Hills 27; Rep. Renzullo, Hills 27; Sen. Kenney, Dist 3

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

ANALYSIS

This constitutional amendment concurrent resolution provides for citizen review retention elections, held at regular intervals, for appointed judges. A judge who does not receive a majority of affirmative votes in the citizen review retention election shall have his or her judicial commission terminated.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

07-0664

06/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seven

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

RELATING TO: citizen review retention elections for judges.

PROVIDING THAT: a judge shall be subject to a citizen review retention election at the biennial election next occurring after he or she has served for 2 years and subsequently at regular intervals which depend on the court in which the judge serves.

Be it Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, that the

Constitution of New Hampshire be amended as follows:

I. That article 35 of the first part of the constitution be amended to read as follows:

[Art.] 35. [The Judiciary; Tenure of Office, etc.] It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices so long as the behave well; subject, however, to such limitations, on account of age and the results of citizen review retention elections, as may be provided by the constitution of the state; and that they should have honorable salaries, ascertained and established by standing laws.

II. That article 73 of the second part of the constitution be amended to read as follows:

[Art.] 73. [Tenure of Office To Be Expressed in Commissions; Judges to Hold Office During Good Behavior, etc.; Removal.] The tenure that all commissioned officers shall have by law in their offices shall be expressed in their respective commissions[, and all judicial officers duly appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behavior except those for whom a different provision is made in this constitution]. The governor with consent of the council may remove any commissioned officer or judicial officer for reasonable cause upon the address of both houses of the legislature, provided nevertheless that the cause for removal shall be stated fully and substantially in the address and shall not be a cause which is a sufficient ground for impeachment, and provided further that no officer shall be so removed unless he shall have had an opportunity to be heard in his defense by a joint committee of both houses of the legislature.

III. That a new article 73-b be inserted in the second part of the constitution after article 73-a to read as follows:

[Art] 73-b. [Judges to Hold Office During Good Behavior, Subject to Citizen Review Retention Elections.] All judicial officers duly appointed, commissioned, and sworn shall hold their offices during good behavior and subject to their receiving a majority of affirmative votes in regularly held citizen review retention elections. Such elections shall be held during the first biennial election next occurring after a judicial officer has been appointed for 2 years, then every 6 years thereafter for supreme court justices, every 10 years thereafter for district court judges, and every 8 years thereafter for all other judges. A majority of negative votes in a citizen review retention election shall immediately terminate a judicial commission.

IV. That the above amendment proposed to the constitution be submitted to the qualified voters of the state at the state general election to be held in November, 2008.

V. That the selectmen of all towns, cities, wards and places in the state are directed to insert in their warrants for the said 2008 election an article to the following effect: To decide whether the amendments of the constitution proposed by the 2007 session of the general court shall be approved.

VI. That the wording of the question put to the qualified voters shall be:

“Are you in favor of amending article 35 of the first part of the constitution and article 73 of the second part of the constitution and inserting a new article 73-b in the second part of the constitution to read as follows:

[Art.] 35. [The Judiciary; Tenure of Office, etc.] It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices so long as the behave well; subject, however, to such limitations, on account of age and the results of citizen review retention elections, as may be provided by the constitution of the state; and that they should have honorable salaries, ascertained and established by standing laws.

[Art.] 73. [Tenure of Office To Be Expressed in Commissions; Judges to Hold Office During Good Behavior, etc.; Removal.] The tenure that all commissioned officers shall have by law in their offices shall be expressed in their respective commissions. The governor with consent of the council may remove any commissioned officer or judicial officer for reasonable cause upon the address of both houses of the legislature, provided nevertheless that the cause for removal shall be stated fully and substantially in the address and shall not be a cause which is a sufficient ground for impeachment, and provided further that no officer shall be so removed unless he shall have had an opportunity to be heard in his defense by a joint committee of both houses of the legislature.

[Art] 73-b. [Judges to Hold Office During Good Behavior, Subject to Citizen Review Retention Elections.] All judicial officers duly appointed, commissioned, and sworn shall hold their offices during good behavior and subject to their receiving a majority of affirmative votes in regularly held citizen review retention elections. Such elections shall be held during the first biennial election next occurring after the judicial officer has been appointed for 2 years, then every 6 years thereafter for supreme court justices, every 10 years thereafter for district court judges, and every 8 years thereafter for all other judges. A majority of negative votes in a citizen review retention election shall immediately terminate a judicial commission.”

VII. That the secretary of state shall print the question to be submitted on a separate ballot or on the same ballot with other constitutional questions. The ballot containing the question shall include 2 squares next to the question allowing the voter to vote “Yes” or “No.” If no cross is made in either of the squares, the ballot shall not be counted on the question. The outside of the ballot shall be the same as the regular official ballot except that the words “Questions Relating to Constitutional Amendments proposed by the 2007 General Court” shall be printed in bold type at the top of the ballot.

VIII. That if the proposed amendment is approved by 2/3 of those voting on the amendment, it becomes effective when the governor proclaims its adoption.

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