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Judicial Nomination Commission Invites Comments on Proposed Rulemaking

September 5, 2019

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to clarify ambiguities in the procedures relating to the status of applicants on judicial nomination lists. The commission is seeking to promulgate a new chapter 21 to title 28 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. 

Pursuant to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, the commission selects three candidates for a D.C. court judicial vacancy and sends the list of nominees to the president. The president in turn nominates one of the commission’s recommended candidates within 60 days of receiving the list, and the U.S. Senate confirms the candidate for appointment. 

However, the act is unclear on what happens when the Senate fails to confirm a nominee or returns a nomination. Accordingly, the commission’s proposed rulemaking specifies that when the Senate rejects, returns, or fails to take action on a nomination by the end of a Senate session, the nomination will be deemed rejected, and the president will have 60 days to make another nomination. If the president does not make another nomination within the 60-day period, the list of candidates for the vacancy is deemed expired and the commission will restart the application process by submitting another list to the president.  

The rulemaking also clarifies certain application procedures for judicial candidates and codifies what constitutes a quorum for the adoption of an action by the commission. 

Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due by 5 p.m. on September 30, 2019. Comments should be clearly marked “Public Comments: Judicial Nomination Commission Regulations” and sent by mail to Judicial Nomination Commission, 515 5th Street NW, Suite 235, Washington, DC 20001, or by email to Bianca Garcia at [email protected].