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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.236

Introduced by   Representatives Wright of Burlington, Ainsworth of Royalton, Allard of St. Albans Town, Atkins of Winooski, Baker of West Rutland, Barnard of Richmond, Bissonnette of Winooski, Branagan of Georgia, Brennan of Colchester, Canfield of Fair Haven, Clark of Vergennes, Condon of Colchester, Devereux of Mount Holly, Donaghy of Poultney, Donahue of Northfield, Errecart of Shelburne, Flory of Pittsford, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hube of Londonderry, Johnson of Canaan, Kilmartin of Newport City, Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, Larocque of Barnet, Lawrence of Lyndon, Marcotte of Coventry, McAllister of Highgate, McDonald of Berlin, Morley of Barton, Morrissey of Bennington, Myers of Essex, O'Donnell of Vernon, Oxholm of Vergennes, Peaslee of Guildhall, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Scheuermann of Stowe, Shaw of Derby, Sunderland of Rutland Town, Turner of Milton, Valliere of Barre City and Winters of Williamstown

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Judiciary; judicial retention; voting procedures of the general assembly

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that the retention votes of the general assembly are conducted through voice vote or roll call.  Currently, votes are cast by ballot.

AN ACT RELATING TO VOTING PROCEDURES FOR JUDICIAL RETENTION

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  4 V.S.A. § 4(c) is amended to read:

§ 4.  JUSTICES

* * *

(c)  A supreme court justice may file in the office of the secretary of state, on or before September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term for which he or she was appointed or retained, a declaration that he or she will be a candidate for retention.  However, a justice appointed and having taken the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office shall automatically be a candidate for retention without filing notice.  When a justice files such a declaration, his or her name shall be submitted to the general assembly for a vote on retention.  The general assembly shall vote upon one ballot on the question “Shall the following supreme court justices be retained in office?”  The names of the justices shall be followed by “Yes __ No __ .”  The vote shall be taken by voice or, if at least ten members so request, by roll call.  If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retention, upon expiration of the term of office a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled by appointment in accordance with the constitution and chapter 15 of this title; if the majority vote is in favor of retention, the justice shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for another term, and, at its end, shall be eligible for retention in office in the manner herein prescribed.

Sec. 2.  4 V.S.A. § 71(b) is amended to read:

§ 71.  APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF SUPERIOR JUDGES

* * *

(b)  A superior judge may file in the office of the secretary of state, on or before September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term for which he or she was appointed or retained, a declaration that he or she will be a candidate for retention.  However, a superior judge appointed and having taken the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office shall automatically be a candidate for retention without filing notice.  When a judge files such a declaration his or her name shall be submitted to the general assembly for a vote on retention.  The general assembly shall vote upon one ballot on the question “Shall the following superior judges be retained in office?”  The names of the judges shall be listed followed by “Yes __ No __ .”  The vote shall be taken by voice or, if at least ten members so request, by roll call.  If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retention, upon expiration of the term of office a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled by appointment in accordance with the constitution and chapter 15 of this title; if the majority vote is in favor of retention, the judge shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for another term and, at its end, shall be eligible for retention in office in the manner herein prescribed.

Sec. 3.  4 V.S.A. § 604(a) is amended to read:

§ 604.  DISTRICT JUDGES; CONTINUANCE IN OFFICE

(a)  A district judge may file in the office of the secretary of state, on or before September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term for which he or she was appointed or retained, a declaration that he or she will be a candidate to succeed himself or herself.  However, a district judge appointed and having taken the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office shall automatically be a candidate for retention without filing notice.  When a judge files such a declaration his or her name shall be submitted to the general assembly for a vote on retention.  The general assembly shall vote upon one ballot on the question “Shall the following district judges be retained in office?”  The names of the judges shall be listed followed by “Yes__  No__.”  The vote shall be taken by voice or, if at least ten members so request, by roll call.  If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retaining a judge in office, upon the expiration of the term a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled in accordance with the constitution and chapter 15 of this title.  If the majority vote is in favor of retention, the judge shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for another term, and at its end, shall be eligible for retention in office in the manner herein prescribed.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us