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Journal of the

Joint Assembly

________________

IN JOINT ASSEMBLY, MARCH 22, 2007

10:30 A.M.

The Senate and House of Representatives met in the Hall of the House of Representatives pursuant to a Joint Resolution which was read by the Clerk and is as follows:

J.R.S. 20.  Joint resolution providing for and relating to an extension of the date for the convening of a Joint Assembly to vote on the retention of Superior Judges and District Judges.

Whereas, declarations have been submitted by three Superior Judges and four District Judges, that they be retained for further six-year terms, and

Whereas, the procedures of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention require at least two public hearings and the review of information provided by each judge and of comments of members of the Vermont bar and the public, and

Whereas, the Committee anticipates that it will be unable to fulfill its responsibilities under subsection 608(b) of title 4 to evaluate the judicial performance of the judges seeking to be retained in office in order that a report be submitted by March 8, 2007, the date specified in subsection 608(e) of title 4, and for a vote in Joint Assembly to be held on March 15, 2007, the date specified in subsection 10(b) of title 2, and

Whereas, subsection 608(g) of title 4 permits the General Assembly to defer action on the retention of judges to a subsequent Joint Assembly when the Committee is unable to make a timely recommendation, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the vote by the General Assembly on the retention of the three Superior Judges and four District Judges be deferred to a Joint Assembly to be held on March 22, 2007.

Presiding Officer

Honorable Brian E. Dubie, President of the Senate, in the Chair.

Clerk

David A. Gibson, Secretary of the Senate, Clerk.

Statement of Presiding Officer

Pursuant to our Constitution and statutes we are assembled here today in Joint Assembly to cast our votes on the retention of three Superior Judges, and five District Judges.

This year we are again operating under the Judicial Retention Act passed 1976, as amended in subsequent sessions of the General Assembly, which establishes the procedure for retention of incumbent Superior Judges and District Judges.  The date for holding joint assemblies for the retention of judges is set by statute to be the eleventh Thursday of the session. 

The procedure to be followed requires that the vote be by written ballot on the specific question:

"Shall the following Judges be retained in office?"

There will be two separate written ballots: one containing the names of all of the candidates for retention as superior judges; and one containing the names of all of the candidates for retention as district judges.

Retention of Superior Judges

We shall now proceed to the matter of retention of the incumbent Superior Judges.  As stated previously, we are operating under the Judicial Retention Act passed in 1976, which establishes the procedure for the retention of Superior Judges.  Nominations may not be received from the floor; rather, each judge seeking retention must file a declaration of intention to seek retention with the Secretary of State.  The name of each judge seeking retention is automatically voted on pursuant to the terms of the Judicial Retention Act.

In addition, the Judicial Retention Act provides that when a candidate does so declare for retention, the question to be decided is:

"Shall the following Superior Judges be retained in office?"

The statute provides that the vote on this question shall be by one written ballot containing the names of all of the candidates for retention as Superior Judges.


Roll Call Request; Ruled Out of Order

     Pending distribution of the ballots, Representative Donaghy of Poultney moved that the voting be by roll call.  The President ruled that the motion to vote by roll call was out of order in that Vermont statutes – specifically 4 V.S.A. § 71(b) and 4 V.S.A. § 604(a) – require that the votes for the Superior Judges and the District Judges be by written ballot.  The General Assembly has no authority or power to suspend those statutory provisions.  Therefore, we may not consider the motion to vote by roll call.

Tellers Appointed

Accordingly, we will need tellers, and the Chair will now appoints as tellers:

Senator Richard J. McCormack, of Windsor District, as Chief Teller

Senator Sara Branon Kittell, of Franklin District

Senator Hull P. Maynard, Jr., of Rutland District

Representative Michael A. Consejo, of Sheldon

Representative Richard J. Howrigan, of Fairfield

Representative Kathy Lavoie, of Swanton

Representative Daryl L. Pillsbury, of Brattleboro

We shall now proceed to the matter of retention of the incumbent superior judges.  For these positions we have received declarations of intention to seek retention to the office of Superior Judge from the following:

William D. Cohen

Matthew I. Katz

M. Kathleen Manley

The question to be decided in each of these cases shall be as follows:

"Shall Superior Judge William D. Cohen be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall Superior Judge Matthew I. Katz be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall Superior Judge M. Kathleen Manley be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

The ballot which you will receive will contain these questions in printed form on one single ballot.  The term of these Superior Judges are for six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

To facilitate the procedure for this morning, the Chair will rule, unless there is objection, that debate on these three Judges will be received separately.  At the end of the debates for the three Judges, any general debate on the entire question shall be in order.

Prior to any debate, we will receive the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention.  The Chair now recognizes the Vice-Chair of this Committee, the Member from Ripton, Representative Willem W. Jewett, for the purpose of receiving his report.

Committee Reports

Representative Willem W. Jewett, then delivered a general report for the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of all the Judges.

The Chair then recognized Senator Kevin J. Mullin, of Rutland District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of Superior Judge William D. Cohen.

The Chair then recognized Senator Edward S. Flanagan, of Chittenden District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of Superior Judge Matthew I. Katz.

The Chair then recognized Representative Avis L. Gervais, of Enosburg, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of Superior Judge M. Kathleen Manley.

Results of Balloting

Balloting then proceeded for the office of Superior Judges, with the following results:

For Superior Judge William D. Cohen

Total votes cast.......................... 165

Necessary for a majority............... 83

For retention.......................... 164

Against retention........................ 1

Whereupon the Chair declared that

WILLIAM D. COHEN, of Rutland

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of Superior Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.


For Superior Judge Matthew I. Katz

Total votes cast.......................... 165

Necessary for a majority............... 83

For retention.......................... 158

Against retention........................ 7

Whereupon the Chair declared that

MATTHEW I. KATZ, of Burlington

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of Superior Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

For Superior Judge M. Kathleen Manley

Total votes cast.......................... 165

Necessary for a majority............... 83

For retention.......................... 161

Against retention........................ 4

Whereupon the Chair declared that

M. KATHLEEN MANLEY, of Lyndonville

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of Superior Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

Retention of District Judges

Statement of Presiding Officer

We shall now proceed to the matter of retention of the incumbent District Judges.  For these positions we have received a declaration of intention to seek retention to the office of District Judge from the following:

James R. Crucitti

Ben Joseph

M. Patricia Zimmerman

Thomas A. Zonay

As in the case of the Superior Judges, the names of each district judge seeking retention are automatically voted on, and the question to be decided is:

"Shall District Judge James R. Crucitti be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .


"Shall District Judge Ben Joseph be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall District Judge M. Patricia Zimmerman be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall District Judge Thomas A. Zonay be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

The vote on this question shall again be by one single written ballot.  The term for each District Judge is for six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Again, to facilitate the procedure, unless there is objection the Chair will rule that debate on these four judges will be received separately.  At the end of the debates on the three judges, any general debate on the entire question shall be in order.

Committee Report

The Chair then recognized Representative Willem W. Jewett, of Ripton, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge James R. Crucitti.

The Chair then recognized Representative Alison Hudnut Clarkson, of Woodstock, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge Ben Joseph.

The Chair then recognized Representative Margaret K. Flory, of Pittsford, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge M. Patricia Zimmerman.

The Chair then recognized Senator Alice W. Nitka, of Windsor District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge Thomas A. Zonay.

Results of Balloting

Balloting then proceeded for the office of District Judges, with the following results:

For District Judge James R. Crucitti

Total votes cast.......................... 141

Necessary for a majority............... 71

For retention.......................... 139

Against retention........................ 2


Whereupon the Chair declared that

James R. Crucitti, of Essex

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

For District Judge Ben Joseph

Total votes cast.......................... 144

Necessary for a majority............... 73

For retention.......................... 136

Against retention........................ 8

Whereupon the Chair declared that

Ben Joseph, of North Hero

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

For District Judge M. Patricia Zimmerman

Total votes cast.......................... 141

Necessary for a majority............... 71

For retention.......................... 137

Against retention........................ 4

Whereupon the Chair declared that

M. Patricia Zimmerman, of Randolph

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

For District Judge Thomas A. Zonay

Total votes cast.......................... 141

Necessary for a majority............... 71

For retention.......................... 138

Against retention........................ 3


Whereupon the Chair declared that

Thomas A. Zonay, of Woodstock

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2007, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

Dissolution

The purposes for which the Joint Assembly was convened having been accomplished, the Chair then declared the Joint Assembly dissolved.

DAVID A. GIBSON

Secretary of the Senate

Clerk of the Joint Assembly

 

 



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