The House Judiciary Committee heard HB 1453 on judicial selection in Lake and St. Joseph counties authored by Rep. Aylesworth. The bill provides that the judicial nominating commission (commission) for the Lake and St. Joseph superior courts consists of five members, with three members appointed by the governor and two members appointed by the county board of commissioners. (Current law provides that the commission for the Lake Superior court consists of nine members and the commission for St. Joseph superior court consists of seven members.) The bill also provides that a member of the commission for: (1) the Lake Superior court shall reside in Lake County; and (2) the St. Joseph superior court shall reside in St. Joseph County. The bill repeals provisions concerning the appointment of non-attorney commissioners and the election of attorney commissioners to the commission. The bill also provides that after the commission has nominated and submitted to the governor the names of five persons to fill a vacancy in the Lake or St. Joseph superior court, the governor shall select the most qualified person to fill the vacancy. (Current law provides that the commission for the Lake Superior court nominate and submit to the governor the names of three people to fill a vacancy in the superior court.)
The Committee adopted amendment #4 by consent to add the Chief Justice of Indiana as an ex officio member of the commissions. The president of the Lake County Bar Association testified in opposition to the bill. The amended bill passed 6-4.
Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/house/1453