RS29745C2 / S1382
This legislation addresses the filling of judicial vacancies and changes the term of appointment from six (6)
years to four (4) years. In addition, it does the following: (1) It changes the way the members of the Judicial
Council are chosen. Currently the Idaho State Bar appoints three lawyers to the Council, with no review from
the Governor’s office, comprising half of the Council’s membership. This legislation changes that process so
the Bar recommends a slate for two positions, from which the Governor will appoint those two members to the
Council, with consent of the senate. The Governor retains authority to appoint the other half of the Council who
are non-lawyers, with consent of the senate. (2) It changes the membership from seven (7) members to eight (8)
members to add a magistrate judge as a permanent member of the Council and allows both the magistrate and
district judge positions to be nominated by the Supreme Court, but still confirmed by the senate. Currently, the
Idaho State Bar also nominates the district judge position. (3) This legislation also allows the Governor to reject
a slate of nominees provided by the Judicial Council to fill a judicial vacancy. (4) It makes public information
concerning the applicants to fill a judicial vacancy who are on a slate of applicants provided to the Governor
for appointment. (5) It finally allows applicants to see survey comments which are solicited from Idaho State
Bar members and the public, which previously were withheld from applicants, but provides that comments are
not public. Providing comments to applicants can increase accountability for comments submitted in support
or opposition of applicants.
This legislation should have little or no fiscal impact to the state or local governments. If a slate of candidates
for appointment to the Council is rejected by the Governor, an additional recruitment and evaluation process
will be necessary but that should be covered without the need for additional funds for the Council.
Senator Abby Lee
(208) 332-1000
DISCLAIMER: This statement of purpose and fiscal note are a mere attachment to this bill and prepared by a proponent
of the bill. It is neither intended as an expression of legislative intent nor intended for any use outside of the legislative
process, including judicial review (Joint Rule 18).
Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Note Bill SOP/FN INTRODUCED: 03/07/2022, 3:24 PM

Statutes affected:
Bill Text: 1-2101, 1-2102, 74-104, 48-1509