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91_HC0022 LRB9113404RCpk 1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 2 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 3 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 4 NINETY-FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE 5 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that there shall be submitted to 6 the electors of the State for adoption or rejection at the 7 general election next occurring at least 6 months after the 8 adoption of this resolution a proposition to amend Section 12 9 of and to add Section 12.1 to Article VI of the Illinois 10 Constitution as follows: 11 ARTICLE VI 12 THE JUDICIARY 13 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12) 14 SECTION 12. ELECTION
AND RETENTION15 (a) Supreme, Appellate and Circuit Judges shall be 16 nominated at primary elections or by petition. Judges shall 17 be elected at general or judicial elections as the General 18 Assembly shall provide by law. A person eligible for the 19 office of Judge may cause his name to appear on the ballot as 20 a candidate for Judge at the primary and at the general or 21 judicial elections by submitting petitions. The General 22 Assembly shall prescribe by law the requirements for 23 petitions. 24 (b) The office of a Judge shall be vacant upon his 25 death, resignation, retirement, removal, or upon the 26 conclusion of his term without retention in office. Whenever 27 an additional Appellate or Circuit Judge is authorized by 28 law, the office shall be filled in the manner provided for 29 filling a vacancy in that office. 30 (c) A vacancy occurring in the office of Supreme, 31 Appellate or Circuit Judge shall be filled as the General 32 Assembly may provide by law. In the absence of a law, -2- LRB9113404RCpk 1 vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Supreme Court. 2 A person appointed to fill a vacancy 60 or more days prior to 3 the next primary election to nominate Judges shall serve 4 until the vacancy is filled for a term at the next general or 5 judicial election. A person appointed to fill a vacancy less 6 than 60 days prior to the next primary election to nominate 7 Judges shall serve until the vacancy is filled at the second 8 general or judicial election following such appointment. 9 (d) Not less than six months before the general election10 preceding the expiration of his term of office, a Supreme,11 Appellate or Circuit Judge who has been elected to that12 office may file in the office of the Secretary of State a13 declaration of candidacy to succeed himself. The Secretary of14 State, not less than 63 days before the election, shall15 certify the Judge's candidacy to the proper election16 officials. The names of Judges seeking retention shall be17 submitted to the electors, separately and without party18 designation, on the sole question whether each Judge shall be19 retained in office for another term. The retention elections20 shall be conducted at general elections in the appropriate21 Judicial District, for Supreme and Appellate Judges, and in22 the circuit for Circuit Judges. The affirmative vote of23 three-fifths of the electors voting on the question shall24 elect the Judge to the office for a term commencing on the25 first Monday in December following his election.26 (e) A law reducing the number of Appellate or Circuit27 Judges shall be without prejudice to the right of the Judges28 affected to seek retention in office. A reduction shall29 become effective when a vacancy occurs in the affected unit.30 (Source: Illinois Constitution.) 31 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.1 new) 32 SECTION 12.1. JUDICIAL RETENTION PROCEDURES 33 (a) There shall be a Judicial Retention Commission in -3- LRB9113404RCpk 1 each Judicial District to determine qualifications for 2 retention of Judges of the Supreme and Appellate Courts for 3 each District and a separate Judicial Retention Commission to 4 determine qualifications for retention of Circuit Judges for 5 each Circuit. A combined Judicial Retention Commission shall 6 be impaneled to consider the qualifications of judges seeking 7 retention in the First Judicial District and the Cook County 8 Circuit. If more than 40 Judges in a Circuit, or in Cook 9 County in the combined District and Circuit, have filed 10 declarations of candidacy for retention under this Section, 11 one or more additional Judicial Retention Commissions shall 12 be impaneled so that not more than 40 Judges are assigned to 13 a single Judicial Retention Commission. When more than one 14 Commission is impaneled in a Circuit or in a combined 15 District and Circuit, the Administrative Director of the 16 Illinois Courts shall divide the candidates for retention by 17 lot into equal groups or groups that are as close to equal as 18 possible and shall by lot designate the groups for assignment 19 to each Judicial Retention Commission. 20 (b) Each Judicial Retention Commission shall consist of 21 11 members. Six members shall be non-lawyers and 5 members 22 shall be lawyers. All members shall be residents of the 23 appropriate District or Circuit. 24 (c) Two non-lawyer members of each Judicial Retention 25 Commission shall be appointed by the Governor and 2 26 non-lawyer members shall be appointed by the State official 27 or officer first in the order indicated who was elected to 28 office and is not affiliated with the same political party as 29 the Governor: the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, 30 the Comptroller, the Treasurer, the President of the Senate, 31 the Speaker of the House of Representatives. If all of those 32 State officials and officers are affiliated with the same 33 political party as the Governor, one non-lawyer member shall 34 be appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate and one -4- LRB9113404RCpk 1 non-lawyer member shall be appointed by the Minority Leader 2 of the House of Representatives. If there is a vacancy in a 3 position for which the original appointment was made under 4 this subsection (c), a successor non-lawyer member shall be 5 appointed by the same person who appointed the predecessor 6 non-lawyer member if that person's office and political 7 party affiliation have not changed since the predecessor 8 non-lawyer member was appointed. If that person's office 9 or political party affiliation have changed since the 10 predecessor non-lawyer member was appointed, the successor 11 non-lawyer member shall be appointed: (i) by the Governor if 12 the Governor is affiliated with the same political party as 13 the predecessor non-lawyer member; or (ii) otherwise by the 14 State official or officer first in the order indicated in 15 this subsection (c) who was elected to office and is not 16 affiliated with the same political party as the Governor. 17 (d) If a Circuit or a District comprises a single 18 county, one non-lawyer member of each Judicial Retention 19 Commission shall be appointed by the county board chairman 20 and one non-lawyer member shall be appointed by the county 21 board member with the longest service on the county board who 22 is not affiliated with the same political party as the 23 chairman. If 2 or more county board members who are not 24 affiliated with the same political party as the chairman are 25 tied for the longest service, one of them shall be chosen by 26 lot to make the appointment. If the county board consists 27 only of members of the same political party, the county board 28 shall appoint 2 non-lawyer members of the Judicial Retention 29 Commission, but those appointees may not both be affiliated 30 with the same political party. If there is a vacancy in a 31 position for which the original appointment was made under 32 this subsection (d) and the county board does not consist 33 only of members of the same political party, a successor 34 non-lawyer member shall be appointed by the same person who -5- LRB9113404RCpk 1 appointed the predecessor non-lawyer member if that person's 2 office and political party affiliation have not changed 3 since the predecessor non-lawyer member was appointed. If 4 that person's office or political party affiliation have 5 changed since the predecessor non-lawyer member was 6 appointed, the successor non-lawyer member shall be 7 appointed: (i) by the county board chairman if the county 8 board chairman is affiliated with the same political party 9 as the predecessor non-lawyer member; or (ii) otherwise by 10 the county board member with the longest service on the 11 county board as determined under this subsection (d) who is 12 not affiliated with the same political party as the chairman. 13 If there is a vacancy in a position for which the original 14 appointment was made under this subsection (d) and the 15 county board consists only of members of the same political 16 party, the county board shall appoint a successor non-lawyer 17 member and the member appointed may not be affiliated with 18 the same political party as the other non-lawyer member 19 appointed under this subsection (d). 20 (e) If a Circuit or a District is comprised of more than 21 a single county, the chairmen of the county boards within 22 that Circuit or District shall select 2 non-lawyer members of 23 the Judicial Retention Commission, but both of those 24 appointees may not be affiliated with the same political 25 party. If there is a vacancy in a position for which the 26 original appointment was made under this subsection (e), the 27 vacancy shall be filled by the county board chairmen, and the 28 member appointed may not be affiliated with the same 29 political party as the other non-lawyer member appointed 30 under this subsection (e). 31 (f) If any official, group of officials, or body fails 32 to appoint a non-lawyer member to a Judicial Retention 33 Commission or fill a vacancy, the Supreme Court shall make 34 the appointment or fill the vacancy. When a Judge of the -6- LRB9113404RCpk 1 Supreme Court is seeking retention, he or she shall not 2 participate in the appointment of any member of his or her 3 District's Judicial Retention Commission under this 4 subsection (f) or under subsection (h). 5 (g) For purposes of filling a non-lawyer vacancy on a 6 Judicial Retention Commission under this Section, the 7 political affiliation of the predecessor non-lawyer member 8 shall be deemed to be his or her political affiliation at 9 the time of his or her appointment. 10 (h) The lawyer members of each Judicial Retention 11 Commission shall be selected by secret ballot, without 12 political party or other designation, by the lawyers who are 13 admitted to practice in Illinois and who reside in the 14 appropriate District or Circuit, in a manner provided by 15 Supreme Court Rule. The lawyer members of the Judicial 16 Retention Commission shall be admitted to practice in 17 Illinois and reside in the appropriate District or Circuit. 18 If an inadequate number of lawyers is selected in the manner 19 set forth in this Section, the Supreme Court shall appoint 20 the other lawyer members. If there is a vacancy in a position 21 for which the original appointment was made under this 22 subsection (h), the currently eligible lawyer who was not 23 selected in the most recent election held under this 24 subsection (h) in the appropriate District or Circuit but who 25 received more votes than the other currently eligible lawyers 26 who were not selected shall be appointed; however, if no 27 lawyer is eligible to fill a vacancy in this manner, the 28 Supreme Court shall appoint a lawyer to fill the vacancy. 29 (i) To ensure racial diversity in any District or 30 Circuit where African-Americans, Asian-Americans, or 31 Hispanic-Americans exceed 3% of the population and are not 32 represented on a Judicial Retention Commission, the Supreme 33 Court shall appoint a lawyer-member from the listed racial 34 group that exceeds 3% of the population so that that group -7- LRB9113404RCpk 1 has no less than one member on that Commission. 2 (j) The term of each member of a Judicial Retention 3 Commission shall begin 8 months before the general election 4 in each year in which a general election is held, and shall 5 expire on the first Monday in November of the same year. 6 Appointments and elections to a Judicial Retention Commission 7 may not take place earlier than 45 days before the term is to 8 commence. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve 9 for the unexpired portion of the term. 10 (k) The chairman of each Judicial Retention Commission 11 shall be selected by its members. 12 (l) Any person who holds any office under the United 13 States or this State or any political subdivision or unit of 14 local government of this State and receives compensation for 15 services rendered in that office, or who holds any office or 16 official position in a political party, is ineligible to 17 serve on a Judicial Retention Commission. Compensation for 18 service in the State militia or the armed services of the 19 United States for a period of time as determined by Supreme 20 Court Rule is not a disqualification to service on a Judicial 21 Retention Commission. 22 (m) Members of a Judicial Retention Commission may not 23 serve consecutive terms on a Commission. No person may serve 24 on more than one Judicial Retention Commission at the same 25 time. 26 (n) All members of a Judicial Retention Commission are 27 subject to ethics and economic disclosure requirements as 28 provided by law, and lawyer members are subject to campaign 29 financing disclosure requirements as provided by law. 30 (o) Not less than 10 months before the general election 31 next preceding the expiration of his or her term of office, a 32 Supreme, Appellate, or Circuit Judge who has been elected to 33 that office may file in the office of the Secretary of State 34 a declaration of candidacy for retention in that office. The -8- LRB9113404RCpk 1 Secretary of State shall, within 14 days of receipt of the 2 declaration of candidacy, submit the Judge's name to the 3 Administrative Director of the Illinois Courts. The 4 Administrative Director of the Illinois Courts shall certify 5 the number of Judicial Retention Commissions that are 6 necessary. Not less than 7 and not more than 8 months before 7 the general election next preceding the expiration of the 8 term of office of the Judge, the Administrative Director of 9 the Illinois Courts shall notify the chairman of the 10 appropriate Judicial Retention Commission of the Judge's 11 candidacy. The chairman shall then promptly convene the 12 Commission. 13 (p) A Judicial Retention Commission may conduct 14 investigations, meetings, and hearings, all of which may be 15 confidential, and employ staff members as may be necessary to 16 perform its duties. Each Commission shall determine its own 17 rules, which shall be broadly disseminated and at a minimum 18 shall contain provisions affording judges seeking retention 19 the opportunity to appear before it and, when it finds that a 20 Judge is not qualified to serve another term, an opportunity 21 for rehearing. Members of Commissions may not receive any 22 compensation for their services but are entitled to 23 reimbursement for necessary expenses. The General Assembly 24 shall appropriate funds to the Supreme Court for expense 25 reimbursement and for all other administrative expenses of 26 the Commissions. 27 (q) If, by concurrence of not less than three-fifths of 28 its members, the Commission finds the candidate to be 29 qualified to serve another term, the candidate shall be 30 retained in office for a full term commencing on the first 31 Monday in December following the general election. The 32 standard for determining qualifications to serve another term 33 is that the person who by his or her character, background, 34 temperament, professional aptitude, experience, and -9- LRB9113404RCpk 1 commitment to justice is deemed by the Commission to be 2 qualified to be retained in office. Each qualified person 3 may be considered for retention by a Judicial Retention 4 Commission free from discrimination on the basis of race, 5 color, creed, national ancestry, or sex. 6 (r) Not less than 84 days before the election, the 7 Commission shall prepare and submit to each candidate its 8 finding as to whether the Commission finds or fails to find 9 that the candidate is qualified to serve another term. Not 10 less than 77 days before the election, the Commission shall 11 submit to the Secretary of State a list stating by name which 12 candidates: (i) it has found qualified to serve another term; 13 (ii) it has found to be not qualified; and (iii) have 14 withdrawn their candidacy by written notification to the 15 Commission. 16 (s) If a Judicial Retention Commission finds that a 17 Judge is not qualified for retention, the Judge has the right 18 to be informed of the reason or reasons for the finding. 19 That judge may stand for retention by the electorate at the 20 general election by filing in the office of the Secretary of 21 State, not less than 70 days before the election, a 22 declaration of candidacy for retention by the electorate. Not 23 less than 63 days before the election, the Secretary of State 24 shall certify the Judge's candidacy to the proper election 25 officials. When a Judge files a declaration of candidacy for 26 retention by the electorate, the reason or reasons for the 27 Commission's finding that the Judge is not qualified for 28 retention shall be made public by the Commission. At the 29 election, the name of each Judge who has timely filed a 30 declaration of candidacy for retention by the electorate 31 shall be submitted to the electors, separately and without 32 party designation, on the sole question of retention in 33 office for another term. Retention elections shall be 34 conducted at general elections in the appropriate Judicial -10- LRB9113404RCpk 1 Districts and Circuits. The affirmative vote of three-fifths 2 of the electors on the question of retention shall elect a 3 Judge to that office for a full term commencing on the first 4 Monday in December following the election. 5 (t) A Judge eligible to file a declaration of candidacy 6 for retention who fails to do so within the time specified in 7 this Section, or having filed, fails of retention, shall 8 vacate the office on the first Monday in December following 9 the election, whether or not a successor is qualified. If an 10 incumbent Judge, eligible to do so, does not timely file a 11 declaration of candidacy for retention, the selection of a 12 successor, if any, shall proceed in the manner provided in 13 Section 12. 14 (u) An authorized reduction in the number of Judges 15 shall be without prejudice to the right of Judges in office 16 at the time to seek retention in accordance with this 17 Section. The reduction shall become effective when a vacancy 18 occurs in the affected unit. 19 SCHEDULE 20 This Constitutional Amendment takes effect upon being 21 declared adopted in accordance with Section 7 of the Illinois 22 Constitutional Amendment Act.
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