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I was just on the California State Bar’s website and I saw this notice.

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.


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