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The bar is looking for volunteers to sit on the 2009 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, commonly known as the JNE Commission. You may remember the commission from this story I wrote back in February.
The commission is a team of lawyers, retired judges and members of the public that evaluates candidates who are under consideration for appointment as a judge by the governor.
The commission, as its Chairman William Kopeny has admitted to me, is rather a toothless organization. It basically spends a lot of time looking into a candidate’s background, talking to lawyers who know the candidate and discussing whether the candidate is qualified for the appointment. Members of the commission usually put in more than hundred hours of service a year in Sacramento, where the group meets, Kopeny told me
But, as I found in researching February’s story, the governor doesn’t have to take the commission’s evaluation on board. It can find a candidate unqualified and the governor can still go ahead and appoint them.
So, if anyone’s interested in sitting on a board that helps put together evaluations that the governor can completely ignore, they should go for it.