THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            160
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  URGING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF WRITTEN CRITERIA TO ASSESS THE
    QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDICIAL APPLICANTS AND A FEASIBILITY
    STUDY ON MERIT PAY INCENTIVES FOR JUDGES AND JUSTICES.



 1        WHEREAS, Article VI, Section 3, of the Constitution
 2   requires that a judicial appointee be a resident and citizen of
 3   the State and the United States, and be licensed to practice
 4   law by the State Supreme Court for at least ten years; and 
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, additional constitutional requirements prohibit
 7   justices or judges from engaging in the practice of law,
 8   running for or holding any other office or position of profit
 9   under the United States, the State, or its political
10   subdivisions, during the term of office; and 
11   
12        WHEREAS, Rule 11 adopted by the Judicial Selection
13   Commission provides general criteria for selection of judicial
14   appointments based on the following qualities:
15   
16        (1)  Integrity and moral courage;
17   
18        (2)  Legal ability and experience;
19   
20        (3)  Intelligence and wisdom;
21   
22        (4)  Compassion and fairness;
23   
24        (5)  Diligence and decisiveness;
25   
26        (6)  Judicial temperament; and
27   
28        (7)  Such other qualities that the Commission deems
29             appropriate;
30    and 
31   
32        WHEREAS, aside from these general qualifications, no
33   specific written criteria exist for the public and the judicial
34   selection commission to determine whether an applicant for a
35   judicial seat is qualified for the position; and 

 
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 1   
 2        WHEREAS, the establishment of specific written criteria
 3   for judicial selection, with the public's input, would diminish
 4   the perception of political favoritism in the selection of
 5   judges; and 
 6   
 7        WHEREAS, Hawaii is the only state in the nation that has
 8   not provided its judges with a pay raise in the past nine
 9   years; and 
10   
11        WHEREAS, merit pay incentives would encourage our most
12   qualified judges and justices to apply for judicial vacancies
13   and continue to serve, thereby improving the overall quality of
14   our judicial system; now, therefore,
15   
16        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
17   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, the House of
18   Representatives concurring, that the Judicial Selection
19   Commission is requested to establish and publicize specific
20   written criteria by which it assesses the qualifications of
21   judicial applicants; and 
22   
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Judicial Salary Commission
24   is requested to study the feasibility of providing judges and
25   justices with merit pay incentives; and 
26   
27        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Judicial Selection
28   Commission and Judicial Salary Commission consult the Hawaii
29   State Bar Association and receive public testimony for
30   recommendations on establishing judicial selection criteria and
31   merit pay incentives; and 
32   
33        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Judicial Selection Commission
34   and Judicial Salary Commission, after consultation with the
35   Hawaii Bar Association and holding public hearings, is
36   requested to report findings and recommendations to the
37   Legislature twenty days before the convening of the Regular
38   Session 2000; and 
39   
40        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
41   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Judicial Selection
42   Commission and Judicial Salary Commission.
43   
44   
45 
46                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________