Legislative proposals this year affecting state courts

AP News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2016 1:16 PM

About half the states will have elections for seats on their supreme courts this year. The high courts also are being targeted in a number of state legislatures. Some of those proposals:

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ARIZONA

— House Bill 2537 would expand the Arizona Supreme Court from five to seven justices. Pending.

GEORGIA

— House Bill 927 would expand the Georgia Supreme Court from seven to nine justices. Approved and sent to the governor.

— House Bill 808 and House Resolution 1113 would provide for a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to dissolve the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission, which has the power to discipline and remove judges. The legislature would establish a new commission in its place. Approved and sent to the governor.

KANSAS

— Senate Bill 439 would expand the rules allowing for the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices. The guidelines would include "attempting to subvert fundamental laws and introduce arbitrary power" and "attempting to usurp the power of the legislative or executive branch of government." Pending.

MISSOURI

— House Joint Resolution 108 and Senate Joint Resolution 42 would provide for a constitutional amendment to be decided on the November ballot or during a special election. It would outline the procedures a court must follow when the government seeks to limit a person's constitutional rights. It also provides for impeachment when a judge fails to follow such procedures. Pending.

OKLAHOMA

— House Joint Resolution 1069 would provide for a constitutional amendment allowing voters, through a referendum, to overturn Oklahoma Supreme Court opinions on the constitutionality of a law. Pending.

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Sources: Associated Press research, National Center for State Courts.