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90_HC0010 ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 7 ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 8 ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12 ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.1 new ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.2 new ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.3 new ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.4 new ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.5 new Proposes to amend the Judiciary Article of the Illinois Constitution. Provides for the appointment of Supreme and Appellate Court Judges, and Circuit Judges in the First Judicial District and circuits adopting merit selection by referendum, by the Governor from nominees submitted by Judicial Nominating Commissions. Permits other Judicial Circuits to adopt by referendum a plan for merit selection of Circuit Judges. Provides that Judicial Review Commissions shall be established to decide whether appointed Judges shall be retained. Provides for Associate Judges to be phased out in the First Judicial District and in circuits adopting merit selection. Makes other changes. Effective upon approval by the electors. LRB9003928KDks LRB9003928KDks 1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 2 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 3 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 4 NINETIETH 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 Article VI 9 of the Illinois Constitution by changing Sections 7, 8, and 10 12 and adding Sections 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, and 12.5 as 11 follows: 12 ARTICLE VI 13 THE JUDICIARY 14 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 7) 15 SECTION 7. JUDICIAL CIRCUITS 16 (a) The State shall be divided into Judicial Circuits 17 consisting of one or more counties. The First Judicial 18 District shall constitute a Judicial Circuit. The Judicial 19 Circuits within the other Judicial Districts shall be as 20 provided by law. Circuits composed of more than one county 21 shall be compact and of contiguous counties. The General 22 Assembly by law may provide for the division of a circuit for 23 the purpose of selection of Circuit Judges and for the 24 selection of Circuit Judges from the circuit at large. 25 (b) Each Judicial Circuit shall have one Circuit Court 26 with such number of Circuit Judges as provided by law. Unless 27 otherwise provided by law, there shall be at least one 28 Circuit Judge from each county.
In the First Judicial29 District, unless otherwise provided by law, Cook County,30 Chicago, and the area outside Chicago shall be separate units31 for the selection of Circuit Judges, with at least twelve32 chosen at large from the area outside Chicago and at least33 thirty-six chosen at large from Chicago.-2- LRB9003928KDks 1 (c) Circuit Judges in each circuit shall select by 2 secret ballot a Chief Judge from their number to serve at 3 their pleasure. Subject to the authority of the Supreme 4 Court, the Chief Judge shall have general administrative 5 authority over his court, including authority to provide for 6 divisions, general or specialized, and for appropriate times 7 and places of holding court. 8 (Source: Illinois Constitution.) 9 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 8) 10 SECTION 8. ASSOCIATE JUDGES 11 Each Circuit Court shall have such number of Associate 12 Judges as provided by law. In the First Judicial District and 13 in each Judicial Circuit that adopts Sections 12.1 and 12.3 14 by a local option referendum under Section 12.2, no new 15 Associate Judges shall be appointed, but existing Associate 16 Judges shall be eligible for reappointment by the Circuit 17 Judges in each circuit as the Supreme Court shall provide by 18 rule; otherwise Associate Judges shall be appointed by the 19 Circuit Judges in each circuit as the Supreme Court shall 20 provide by rule. In the First Judicial District, unless21 otherwise provided by law, at least one-fourth of the22 Associate Judges shall be appointed from, and reside, outside23 Chicago.The Supreme Court shall provide by rule for matters 24 to be assigned to Associate Judges. 25 (Source: Illinois Constitution.) 26 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12) 27 SECTION 12. ELECTION OF CIRCUIT JUDGES AND RETENTION28 (a) In the First Judicial District and in Judicial 29 Circuits that adopt Sections 12.1 and 12.3 by a local option 30 referendum under Section 12.2, Circuit Judges shall be 31 selected in the manner provided by those Sections, unless 32 that manner of selection is terminated by referendum under -3- LRB9003928KDks 1 Section 12.2; otherwise, Circuit Judges shall be elected in 2 the manner provided by this Section. 3 (b) Supreme, Appellate andCircuit Judges shall be 4 nominated at primary elections or by petition and . Judges5 shall be elected at general or judicialelections as provided 6 the General Assembly shall provideby law. A person eligible 7 for the office of Circuit Judge may cause his or her name to 8 appear on the ballot as a candidate for Circuit Judge at the9 primary and at thegeneral or judicialelections by 10 submitting petitions. The General Assembly shall prescribe by 11 law the requirements for petitions. A Circuit Judge elected 12 to office under this subsection (b) may stand for retention 13 for a full term under Section 12.4. 14 (c) (b)The office of a Circuit Judge shall be vacant 15 upon the incumbent's hisdeath, resignation, retirement, or 16 removal, orupon the conclusion of a histerm without 17 retention in office, or .whenever an additional Appellate or18 Circuit Judge is authorized by law , the office shall be19 filled in the manner provided for filling a vacancy in that20 office. 21 (d) (c)A vacancy occurring in the office of Supreme,22 Appellate orCircuit Judge shall be filled as the General 23 Assembly may provide by law or, .in the absence of a law, 24 vacancies may be filledby appointment by the Supreme Court. 25 A person appointed to fill a vacancy 60 or more days prior to 26 the next primary election to nominate Circuit Judges shall 27 serve until the first Monday in December following vacancy is28 filled for a term atthe nextgeneral or judicialelection 29 next following the appointment. A person appointed to fill a 30 vacancy less than 60 days prior to the next primary election 31 to nominate Circuit Judges shall serve until the the first 32 Monday in December following vacancy is filled atthe second 33 general or judicialelection following such appointment. 34 (d) Not less than six months before the general election-4- LRB9003928KDks 1 preceding the expiration of his term of office, a Supreme,2 Appellate or Circuit Judge who has been elected to that3 office may file in the office of the Secretary of State a4 declaration of candidacy to succeed himself. The Secretary of5 State, not less than 63 days before the election, shall6 certify the Judge's candidacy to the proper election7 officials. The names of Judges seeking retention shall be8 submitted to the electors, separately and without party9 designation, on the sole question whether each Judge shall be10 retained in office for another term. The retention elections11 shall be conducted at general elections in the appropriate12 Judicial District, for Supreme and Appellate Judges, and in13 the circuit for Circuit Judges. The affirmative vote of14 three-fifths of the electors voting on the question shall15 elect the Judge to the office for a term commencing on the16 first Monday in December following his election.17 (e) A law reducing the number of Appellate or Circuit18 Judges shall be without prejudice to the right of the Judges19 affected to seek retention in office. A reduction shall20 become effective when a vacancy occurs in the affected unit.21 (Source: Illinois Constitution.) 22 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.1 new) 23 SECTION 12.1. APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES 24 (a) This Section governs the selection of Supreme and 25 Appellate Judges and the selection of Circuit Judges of the 26 First Judicial District and Circuits that adopt this Section 27 and Section 12.3 by a local option referendum under Section 28 12.2. For purposes of this Section and Section 12.4, the 29 term "Judge" includes all Supreme, Appellate, and Circuit 30 Judges selected in accordance with this Section except where 31 a distinction is indicated. 32 (b) Judges shall be appointed by the Governor from 33 nominees submitted by Judicial Nominating Commissions. -5- LRB9003928KDks 1 (c) The office of a Judge shall be vacant upon the 2 incumbent's death, resignation, retirement, or removal, upon 3 conclusion of a term without retention in office, or whenever 4 an increase in the number of Judges is authorized. 5 (d) As soon as a vacancy occurs in the office of Judge 6 or will occur within 6 months by a day certain, or upon 7 receiving notice from the Governor that all 3 nominees on a 8 list have been rejected, the administrative director of the 9 Illinois courts shall promptly notify the chairperson of the 10 appropriate Judicial Nominating Commission, who shall 11 immediately convene the Commission. 12 (e) Within 42 days after receiving notice from the 13 administrative director of the Illinois courts, the 14 Commission shall submit to the Governor a list of 3 nominees 15 in alphabetical order, who are qualified for review by the 16 Commission. For the purposes of Sections 12.1 through 12.5, 17 "qualified for review by the Commission" means persons who by 18 their character, temperament, professional aptitude, 19 experience, and commitment to equal justice under law are 20 deemed by the Commission to be best qualified to fill the 21 vacancy. The Commission may not include on a list a nominee 22 who is on another list pending before the Governor to fill a 23 vacancy in the same judicial office or who was a nominee on a 24 list rejected by the Governor to fill a vacancy in the same 25 judicial office. No list shall have any effect after the 26 required appointment is made from the list or all 3 nominees 27 on the list are rejected by the Governor. 28 (f) Immediately upon receiving a list, the Governor 29 shall make it public. Not less than 28 nor more than 56 days 30 after receiving a list, the Governor shall appoint from the 31 list a person to fill the vacancy or notify the 32 administrative director of the Illinois courts that all 3 33 nominees on a list have been rejected. 34 (g) In the First Judicial District, half of the -6- LRB9003928KDks 1 vacancies and new positions on the Circuit Court shall be 2 filled by persons residing anywhere within the District and 3 half shall be filled by persons residing within the divisions 4 of the Circuit provided by law in accordance with subsection 5 (a) of Section 7 of Article VI, if any. The appointments 6 from the divisions, if any, within the Circuit shall be 7 allocated equally among the divisions. 8 (h) A person appointed to fill a vacancy under this 9 Section shall serve an initial term ending on the first 10 Monday in December following the next general election held 11 after the completion of one year in office. At that general 12 election the Judge may stand for retention in office for a 13 full term under Section 12.4. 14 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.2 new) 15 SECTION 12.2. CIRCUIT LOCAL OPTION REFERENDA 16 (a) The electors of a Judicial Circuit may by a local 17 option referendum adopt a proposition requiring Sections 12.1 18 and 12.3 to govern the selection of Circuit Judges of that 19 Circuit. The electors of a Circuit shall vote on the 20 proposition at the next general election held not less than 3 21 months following the filing of petitions with the Secretary 22 of State, signed by at least 5% of the total number of 23 electors who voted at the next preceding general election in 24 that Circuit, asking that the proposition be submitted to 25 referendum. If a majority of votes cast on the proposition 26 are in the affirmative, Sections 12.1 and 12.3 shall 27 thereafter govern the selection of Circuit Judges of the 28 Circuit Court of that Circuit. 29 (b) After the eighth year following a local option 30 referendum in which the electors of a circuit have adopted 31 Sections 12.1 and 12.3 to govern the selection of Circuit 32 Judges, the electors of the Circuit may terminate, by a local 33 option referendum, their adoption of Sections 12.1 and 12.3. -7- LRB9003928KDks 1 The referendum shall be subject to the same requirements and 2 shall be conducted in the same manner as a referendum for 3 adoption of Sections 12.1 and 12.3. If a majority of the 4 votes cast on the proposition to terminate are in the 5 affirmative, the selection of Circuit Judges and Associate 6 Judges of that Circuit shall be governed by Sections 12 and 7 8, respectively, unless Sections 12.1 and 12.3 are again 8 adopted under this Section. 9 (c) To provide time for the establishment of District 10 Judicial Nominating Commissions, vacancies occurring in the 11 offices of Supreme and Appellate Judge and, in the First 12 Judicial District, Circuit Judge on or before June 30th 13 following the date this Amendment takes effect shall continue 14 to be filled, using the procedures in Section 12 as it 15 existed before the effective date of this Amendment, for a 16 term ending the first Monday in December after the next 17 general election. 18 (d) To provide time for the establishment of a Circuit 19 Judicial Nominating Commission, vacancies occurring in the 20 offices of Circuit Judge on or before March 31st following 21 the adoption of Sections 12.1 and 12.3 in a local option 22 referendum in a Judicial Circuit shall continue to be filled, 23 using the procedures applicable before the referendum, for a 24 term ending the first Monday in December after the next 25 general election. 26 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.3 new) 27 SECTION 12.3. JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSIONS 28 (a) There shall be a Judicial Nominating Commission in 29 the First Judicial District for the nomination of Judges for 30 the Supreme, Appellate and Circuit Courts for that District, 31 in each other Judicial District for the nomination of Judges 32 for the Supreme and Appellate Courts for that District, and 33 in each Judicial Circuit that, by a local option referendum, -8- LRB9003928KDks 1 adopts Section 12.1 and this Section for the nomination of 2 Circuit Judges for that Circuit. 3 (b) Each Judicial Nominating Commission shall consist of 4 12 members who are residents of the appropriate District or 5 Circuit. 6 (c) The President and Minority Leader of the Senate and 7 the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of 8 Representatives shall each appoint 3 members to each Judicial 9 Nominating Commission. Each appointing authority shall 10 appoint one lawyer and 2 non-lawyers. Each member shall 11 serve for a term of 6 years, except that the 3 initial 12 members appointed by each appointing authority shall serve 13 terms of 2, 4, and 6 years as designated by the appointing 14 authority. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term 15 by the appointing authority who appointed the member whose 16 office is then vacant. "Appointing authority" means the 17 office, not the individual or political party affiliation of 18 the individual who may hold that office from time to time. 19 (d) The chairperson of each Judicial Nominating 20 Commission shall be selected by vote of all the members of 21 the Commission. The term of a chairperson shall be for 3 22 years unless his or her remaining term as a member of the 23 Commission expires sooner. 24 (e) A person who holds an office under the United States 25 or this State or a unit of local government or school 26 district and receives compensation for services rendered in 27 that office or who holds any office or official position in a 28 political party is ineligible to serve on a Judicial 29 Nominating Commission. Compensation for service in the 30 State militia or the armed services of the United States for 31 a period of time to be determined by the Supreme Court by 32 rule shall not be considered a disqualification. No member 33 of a Judicial Nominating Commission may be appointed to 34 judicial office while serving on the Commission or for a -9- LRB9003928KDks 1 period of 3 years after his or her service on a Commission 2 has ended. 3 (f) A member who has served a full term of 6 years on a 4 Judicial Nominating Commission may not serve on a Commission 5 during the next 3 years. No person may serve on more than 6 one Judicial Nominating Commission at the same time. 7 (g) A Commission may conduct investigations, meetings, 8 and hearings, all of which may be secret, and employ staff 9 members that may be necessary to perform the Commission's 10 duties. Members of Commissions shall not receive any 11 compensation for their services, but shall be entitled to 12 reimbursement for necessary expenses. The General Assembly 13 shall appropriate funds to the Supreme Court for 14 reimbursement of those expenses and for all other 15 administrative expenses of the Commissions. 16 (h) Nominations shall be submitted to the Governor only 17 upon concurrence of not less than two-thirds of all members 18 of the Commission. 19 (i) All lawyer and non-lawyer members of each Judicial 20 Nominating Commission shall be subject to ethics and economic 21 disclosure requirements as provided by law. 22 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.4 new) 23 SECTION 12.4. RETENTION ELECTIONS 24 (a) Not less than 6 months before the general election 25 next preceding the expiration of the term of office of (i) a 26 Supreme, Appellate, or Circuit Judge who was elected to that 27 office or (ii) a Supreme, Appellate, or Circuit Judge who was 28 appointed to that office under Section 12.1, he or she may 29 file in the office of the Secretary of State a declaration of 30 candidacy for retention in that office for a full term. Not 31 less than 63 days before the election, the Secretary of State 32 shall certify the Judge's candidacy to the proper election 33 officials. At the election the name of each Judge who has -10- LRB9003928KDks 1 timely filed a declaration of candidacy for retention (except 2 each Supreme, Appellate, and Circuit Judge who, under Section 3 12.5, has been found qualified for review by the Commission 4 and qualified to serve for the succeeding term) shall be 5 submitted to the electors, separately and without party 6 designation, on the sole question of retention in office for 7 another term. Retention elections shall be conducted at 8 general elections in the appropriate Judicial Districts and 9 Circuits. The affirmative vote of three-fifths of the 10 electors voting on the question of retention shall elect a 11 Judge to that office for a full term commencing on the first 12 Monday in December following the election. 13 (b) A Judge eligible to file a declaration of candidacy 14 for retention who fails to do so within the time specified in 15 subsection (a) or, having filed, fails to be retained shall 16 vacate the office on the first Monday in December following 17 the election, whether or not a successor has yet qualified. 18 If an incumbent Judge, eligible to do so, does not timely 19 file a declaration of candidacy for retention, the selection 20 of a successor, if any, shall proceed immediately in the 21 manner provided in Section 12 or 12.1, whichever applies, so 22 that the successor may take office as soon as a vacancy 23 occurs. 24 (c) An authorized reduction in the number of Judges 25 shall be without prejudice to the right of Judges in office 26 at the time to seek retention in accordance with this 27 Section. The reduction shall become effective when a vacancy 28 occurs in the affected unit. 29 (ILCON Art. VI, Sec. 12.5 new) 30 SECTION 12.5. JUDICIAL REVIEW COMMISSIONS 31 (a) In the First Judicial District, in each other 32 Judicial District, and in each Judicial Circuit that, by 33 local option referendum, has adopted Sections 12.1 and 12.3 -11- LRB9003928KDks 1 for selection of Circuit Judges for that circuit, a Judicial 2 Review Commission shall be created and empowered to determine 3 qualification for retention of appointed Supreme, Appellate, 4 and Circuit Judges. 5 (b) The members of a Judicial Review Commission shall be 6 appointed in the manner specified in subsection (c) of 7 Section 12.3 for appointment or election of members of a 8 Judicial Nominating Commission. 9 (c) The terms of all members of a Judicial Review 10 Commission shall begin 6 months before the general election 11 in each year in which a general election is held and shall 12 expire on the first Monday in November of the same year. 13 Appointments to a Judicial Review Commission may not take 14 place earlier than 45 days before the term is to commence. 15 (d) A vacancy in the membership of a Judicial Review 16 Commission shall be promptly filled as provided in subsection 17 (c) of Section 12.3 with respect to vacancies on a Judicial 18 Nominating Commission. 19 (e) Judicial Review Commissions shall be governed by 20 subsections (b), (d), (e), (g), and (i) of Section 12.3 with 21 respect to Judicial Nominating Commissions as well as by this 22 Section. 23 (f) A person who has served on a Judicial Review 24 Commission may not serve on a Judicial Review Commission 25 until 8 years have elapsed since the date his or her service 26 on a Judicial Review Commission ended. A person who has 27 served on a Judicial Nominating Commission may not serve on a 28 Judicial Review Commission until 8 years have elapsed since 29 the date his or her service on a Judicial Nominating 30 Commission ended. No person may serve on a Judicial 31 Nominating Commission while serving on a Judicial Review 32 Commission. 33 (g) In each Judicial District and in Circuits governed 34 by this Section, for each Supreme, Appellate, and Circuit -12- LRB9003928KDks 1 Judge who has timely filed a declaration of candidacy for 2 retention in office under Section 12.4, the Secretary of 3 State shall, within 14 days after receipt of the declaration 4 of candidacy, submit the Judge's name to the administrative 5 director of the Illinois courts. Not more than 6 months nor 6 less than 5 months before the general election next preceding 7 the expiration of the term of office of the Judge, the 8 administrative director of the Illinois courts shall notify 9 the chairperson of the appropriate Judicial Review Commission 10 of the Judge's candidacy. The chairperson shall then 11 promptly convene the Commission. 12 (h) If, by concurrence of not less than two-thirds of 13 its members, the Commission finds the candidate to be 14 qualified for review by the Commission and qualified to serve 15 another term, the candidate shall be retained in office for a 16 full term commencing on the first Monday in December 17 following the election. Not less than 84 days before the 18 election, the Commission shall prepare and submit to each 19 candidate its finding as to whether the Commission finds or 20 fails to find that candidate qualified for review by the 21 Commission and qualified to serve for another term. Not less 22 than 77 days before the election the Commission shall submit 23 to the Secretary of State a list stating by name: 24 (i) which candidates it has found qualified to 25 serve another term; 26 (ii) which candidates it has failed to find so 27 qualified; and 28 (iii) which candidates have withdrawn their 29 candidacy by written notification to the Commission. 30 (i) Failure of a candidate to be found qualified for 31 retention by a Judicial Review Commission shall be without 32 prejudice to the candidate's right to stand for retention by 33 the electorate at a general election under Section 12.4. -13- LRB9003928KDks 1 SCHEDULE 2 This Constitutional Amendment takes effect upon approval 3 by the electors of this State.
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