THE SENATE                           S.R. NO.              36
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  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 
36   
37        WHEREAS, the establishment of specific written criteria
38   for judicial selection, with the public's input, would diminish
39   the perception of political favoritism in the selection of

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