What will be on the ballot:
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to abolish the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission; require the General Assembly to create and provide by general law for the composition, manner of appointment, and governance of a new Judicial Qualifications Commission, with such commission having the power to discipline, remove, and cause involuntary retirement of judges; require the Judicial Qualifications Commission to have procedures that provide for due process of law and review by the Supreme Court of its advisory opinions; and allow the Judicial Qualifications Commission to be open to the public in some manner?”
The low down:
This amendment will essentially remove the current Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is an independent watchdog organization and replace it with a general assembly which will be ran out of the state legislature.
The JQC now conducts investigations on complaints of misconduct and ethical issues by Georgia’s judges. Their members serve 4 year terms and is comprised of:
- 2 citizens that are not members of the state bar
- 2 judges selected by the supreme court of Georgia
- And 3 lawyers appointed by the state bar of Georgia
The JQC removes judges from the bench but does not prosecute them. A prosecutor is free do that with the evidence that the JQC provides. This committee has removed about 70 judges since the 1970’s.
Those supporting this amendment have stated that the JQC has targeted judges that do not agree with their policies. Many believe that this committee has internal problems that needs to be fixed.
Those oppose to this amendment believe that the only people benefiting from it will be unethical judges that are not conducting themselves how they should. Many believe that these judges would influence lawmakers to avoid any kind of punishment that they might receive.
This is an interesting amendment to know and make sure you vote how YOU feel is right.
If you have any questions or comments let me know!