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JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSIONS


[photo, Maryland Judicial Center, Annapolis, Maryland]

Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission

Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commissions

Maryland Judicial Center, Annapolis, Maryland, March 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Maryland Judicial Center, 580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, Maryland]

Maryland Judicial Center, 580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, Maryland, March 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


In 1970, the Governor established statewide judicial nominating commissions to propose nominees for appointment to the appellate courts, and regional commissions to perform the same function for trial court vacancies. The commissions began operation in 1971. The commissions were reconstituted by the Governor in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2008 (Executive Order 01.01.1991.05; Executive Orders 01.01.1995.06/07/10/13; Executive Order 01.01.1999.08; Executive Order 01.01.2003.12; Executive Orders 01.01.2007.08/11; Executive Order 01.01.2008.04). Each judicial vacancy filled pursuant to the Governor's appointing power must be filled from a list of nominees submitted by one of these nominating commissions.

When a judicial vacancy occurs or is pending, the Administrative Office of the Courts notifies the appropriate nominating commission and then solicits applications by press announcements and from interested bar associations. Applications received are distributed to the commission members.

After the filing deadline for a vacancy has passed, the nominating commission meets to consider applications and relevant information, such as recommendations from citizens and bar associations. Each candidate is interviewed by the full commission or by commission panels. By secret written ballot, the commission then prepares a list of those candidates deemed legally and professionally most fully qualified for judicial office. No applicant may be added to the list without the affirmative vote of a majority of the commission members present at a voting session. The list is forwarded to the Governor who must make the appointment from it.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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