RESOLUTION ADOPTING RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL SELECTION AND RETENTION TO ADD "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" RATING FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES ON A TRIAL BASIS
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention ("Commission") has for nearly forty years carried out its mission as set forth in Association Bylaws Article VI, §600A to "recommend and actively support for judicial office individuals who, by their character, temperament and professional distinction, have demonstrated their qualifications for judicial office;" and
WHEREAS, in accordance with Association Bylaws Article VI, §603A1, it is the responsibility of the Commission to investigate the qualifications of judicial candidates to hold such office "and make such recommendations with regard thereto as may be appropriate, including recommendations to the public when an election is involved and to the legislature if confirmation of an appointment is required;" and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the Commission's Guidelines for Evaluation of Attorney and Judge Candidates, the Commission rates candidates as either Recommended or Not Recommended for judicial office; and
WHEREAS, the Commission has seen a steady increase in the number of candidates to be investigated and rated, such that in recent election years, the number of candidates rated Recommended by the Commission far exceeds the number of open seats for judicial office; and
WHEREAS, the Commission has observed a wide range of qualifications among those candidates rated Recommended; and
WHEREAS, the Commission has studied this issue and has concluded that it would be beneficial to the voting public to add a rating category of Highly Recommended, defined as follows: "This evaluation shall be made for those extraordinary individuals who are being considered for election or appointment to a designated court and who, in addition to meeting the criteria set forth in Section II.B.1., are preeminent in the profession, exceptionally skilled in the law, possess a reputation for the utmost integrity and significantly will enhance or have enhanced the quality of the judiciary;" and
WHEREAS, the Commission has recommended that the rating category of Highly Recommended shall be instituted on a trial basis, beginning immediately and concluding on December 31, 2018, unless renewed by the Board of Governors.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association adopts the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention to add a rating category of "Highly Recommended" for candidates for judicial office, which rating category will expire on December 31, 2018, unless renewed by the Board of Governors.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: June 26, 2014