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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700440: Judicial Tenure by Loyal Millett

ARTICLE V: JUDICIARY, Section 10. Retention; election and terms.

SECTION 10. Retention; election and terms.
  1. Any justice or judge may qualify for retention by a vote of the electors in the general election next preceding the expiration of the justice's or judge's term in the manner prescribed by law. If a justice or judge is ineligible or fails to qualify for retention, a vacancy shall exist in that office upon the expiration of the term being served by the justice or judge. When a justice or judge so qualifies, the ballot shall read substantially as follows: "Shall Justice (or Judge) [name of justice or judge] of the [name of the court] be retained in office?" If a majority of the qualified electors voting within the territorial jurisdiction of the court vote to retain, the justice or judge shall be retained for a term of six years. The term of the justice or judge retained shall commence on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January following the general election. If a majority of the qualified electors voting within the territorial jurisdiction of the court vote to not retain, a vacancy shall exist in that office upon the expiration of the term being served by the justice or judge.
    1. The election of circuit judges shall be preserved notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) unless a majority of those voting in the jurisdiction of that circuit approves a local option to select circuit judges by merit selection and retention rather than by election. The election of circuit judges shall be by a vote of the qualified electors within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
    2. The election of county court judges shall be preserved notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) unless a majority of those voting in the jurisdiction of that county approves a local option to select county judges by merit selection and retention rather than by election. The election of county court judges shall be by a vote of the qualified electors within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
      1. A vote to exercise a local option to select circuit court judges and county court judges by merit selection and retention rather than by election shall be held in each circuit and county at the general election in the year 2000. If a vote to exercise this local option fails in a vote of the electors, such option shall not again be put to a vote of the electors of that jurisdiction until the expiration of at least two years.
      2. After the year 2000, a circuit may initiate the local option for merit selection and retention or the election of circuit judges, whichever is applicable, by filing with the custodian of state records a petition signed by the number of electors equal to at least ten percent of the votes cast in the circuit in the last preceding election in which presidential electors were chosen.
      3. After the year 2000, a county may initiate the local option for merit selection and retention or the election of county court judges, whichever is applicable, by filing with the supervisor of elections a petition signed by the number of electors equal to at least ten percent of the votes cast in the county in the last preceding election in which presidential electors were chosen. The terms of circuit judges and judges of county courts shall be for six years.

ARTICLE V: JUDICIARY, Section 11. Vacancies.

SECTION 11. Vacancies.
  1. Whenever a vacancy occurs in a judicial office to which election for retention applies, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointing for a term ending on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year following the next general election occurring at least one year after the date of appointment, one of not fewer than three persons nor more than six persons nominated by the appropriate judicial nominating commission.
  2. The governor shall fill each vacancy on a circuit court or on a county court, wherein the judges are elected by a majority vote of the electors, by appointing for a term ending on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year following the next primary and general election occurring at least one year after the date of appointment, one of not fewer than three persons nor more than six persons nominated by the appropriate judicial nominating commission. An election shall be held to fill that judicial office for the term of the office beginning at the end of the appointed term.
  3. The nominations shall be made within thirty days from the occurrence of a vacancy unless the period is extended by the governor for a time not to exceed thirty days. The governor shall make the appointment within sixty days after the nominations have been certified to the governor.
  4. There shall be a separate judicial nominating commission as provided by general law for the supreme court, each district court of appeal, and each judicial circuit for all trial courts within the circuit. Uniform rules of procedure shall be established by the judicial nominating commissions at each level of the court system. Such rules, or any part thereof, may be repealed by general law enacted by a majority vote of the membership of each house of the legislature, or by the supreme court, five justices concurring. Except for deliberations of the judicial nominating commissions, the proceedings of the commissions and their records shall be open to the public.

ARTICLE V: JUDICIARY, Section 12. Discipline; removal and retirement.

SECTION 12.Discipline; removal and retirement.
  1. JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION.—A judicial qualifications commission is created.
    1. There shall be a judicial qualifications commission vested with jurisdiction to investigate and recommend to the Supreme Court of Florida the removal from office of any justice or judge whose conduct, during term of office or otherwise occurring on or after November 1, 1966, (without regard to the effective date of this section) demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office, and to investigate and recommend the discipline of a justice or judge whose conduct, during term of office or otherwise occurring on or after November 1, 1966 (without regard to the effective date of this section), warrants such discipline. For purposes of this section, discipline is defined as any or all of the following: reprimand, fine, suspension with or without pay, or lawyer discipline. The commission shall have jurisdiction over justices and judges regarding allegations that misconduct occurred before or during service as a justice or judge if a complaint is made no later than one year following service as a justice or judge. The commission shall have jurisdiction regarding allegations of incapacity during service as a justice or judge. The commission shall be composed of:
      1. Two judges of district courts of appeal selected by the judges of those courts, two circuit judges selected by the judges of the circuit courts and two judges of county courts selected by the judges of those courts;
      2. Four electors who reside in the state, who are members of the bar of Florida, and who shall be chosen by the governing body of the bar of Florida; and
      3. Five electors who reside in the state, who have never held judicial office or been members of the bar of Florida, and who shall be appointed by the governor.
    2. The members of the judicial qualifications commission shall serve staggered terms, not to exceed six years, as prescribed by general law. No member of the commission except a judge shall be eligible for state judicial office while acting as a member of the commission and for a period of two years thereafter. No member of the commission shall hold office in a political party or participate in any campaign for judicial office or hold public office; provided that a judge may campaign for judicial office and hold that office. The commission shall elect one of its members as its chairperson.
    3. Members of the judicial qualifications commission not subject to impeachment shall be subject to removal from the commission pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 7, Florida Constitution.
    4. The commission shall adopt rules regulating its proceedings, the filling of vacancies by the appointing authorities, the disqualification of members, the rotation of members between the panels, and the temporary replacement of disqualified or incapacitated members. The commission's rules, or any part thereof, may be repealed by general law enacted by a majority vote of the membership of each house of the legislature, or by the supreme court, five justices concurring. The commission shall have power to issue subpoenas. Until formal charges against a justice or judge are filed by the investigative panel with the clerk of the supreme court of Florida all proceedings by or before the commission shall be confidential; provided, however, upon a finding of probable cause and the filing by the investigative panel with said clerk of such formal charges against a justice or judge such charges and all further proceedings before the commission shall be public.
    5. The commission shall have access to all information from all executive, legislative and judicial agencies, including grand juries, subject to the rules of the commission. At any time, on request of the speaker of the house of representatives or the governor, the commission shall make available all information in the possession of the commission for use in consideration of impeachment or suspension, respectively.
  2. PANELS.—The commission shall be divided into an investigative panel and a hearing panel as established by rule of the commission. The investigative panel is vested with the jurisdiction to receive or initiate complaints, conduct investigations, dismiss complaints, and upon a vote of a simple majority of the panel submit formal charges to the hearing panel. The hearing panel is vested with the authority to receive and hear formal charges from the investigative panel and upon a two-thirds vote of the panel recommend to the supreme court the removal of a justice or judge or the involuntary retirement of a justice or judge for any permanent disability that seriously interferes with the performance of judicial duties. Upon a simple majority vote of the membership of the hearing panel, the panel may recommend to the supreme court that the justice or judge be subject to appropriate discipline.
  3. SUPREME COURT.—The supreme court shall receive recommendations from the judicial qualifications commission's hearing panel.
    1. The supreme court may accept, reject, or modify in whole or in part the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the commission and it may order that the justice or judge be subjected to appropriate discipline, or be removed from office with termination of compensation for willful or persistent failure to perform judicial duties or for other conduct unbecoming a member of the judiciary demonstrating a present unfitness to hold office, or be involuntarily retired for any permanent disability that seriously interferes with the performance of judicial duties. Malafides, scienter or moral turpitude on the part of a justice or judge shall not be required for removal from office of a justice or judge whose conduct demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office. After the filing of a formal proceeding and upon request of the investigative panel, the supreme court may suspend the justice or judge from office, with or without compensation, pending final determination of the inquiry.
    2. The supreme court may award costs to the prevailing party.
  4. The power of removal conferred by this section shall be both alternative and cumulative to the power of impeachment.
  5. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this section, if the person who is the subject of proceedings by the judicial qualifications commission is a justice of the supreme court of Florida all justices of such court automatically shall be disqualified to sit as justices of such court with respect to all proceedings therein concerning such person and the supreme court for such purposes shall be composed of a panel consisting of the seven chief judges of the judicial circuits of the state of Florida most senior in tenure of judicial office as circuit judge. For purposes of determining seniority of such circuit judges in the event there be judges of equal tenure in judicial office as circuit judge the judge or judges from the lower numbered circuit or circuits shall be deemed senior. In the event any such chief circuit judge is under investigation by the judicial qualifications commission or is otherwise disqualified or unable to serve on the panel, the next most senior chief circuit judge or judges shall serve in place of such disqualified or disabled chief circuit judge.
  6. SCHEDULE TO SECTION 12.—
    1. Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this section, all provisions of law and rules of court in force on the effective date of this article shall continue in effect until superseded in the manner authorized by the constitution.
    2. After this section becomes effective and until adopted by rule of the commission consistent with it:
      1. The commission shall be divided, as determined by the chairperson, into one investigative panel and one hearing panel to meet the responsibilities set forth in this section.
      2. The investigative panel shall be composed of:
        1. Four judges,
        2. Two members of the bar of Florida, and
        3. Three non-lawyers.
      3. The hearing panel shall be composed of:
        1. Two judges,
        2. Two members of the bar of Florida, and
        3. Two non-lawyers.
      4. Membership on the panels may rotate in a manner determined by the rules of the commission provided that no member shall vote as a member of the investigative and hearing panel on the same proceeding.
      5. The commission shall hire separate staff for each panel.
      6. The members of the commission shall serve for staggered terms of six years.
      7. The terms of office of the present members of the judicial qualifications commission shall expire upon the effective date of the amendments to this section approved by the legislature during the regular session of the legislature in 1996 and new members shall be appointed to serve the following staggered terms:
        1. Group I.—The terms of five members, composed of two electors as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)c. of Article V, one member of the bar of Florida as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)b. of Article V, one judge from the district courts of appeal and one circuit judge as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)a. of Article V, shall expire on December 31, 1998.
        2. Group II.—The terms of five members, composed of one elector as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)c. of Article V, two members of the bar of Florida as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)b. of Article V, one circuit judge and one county judge as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)a. of Article V shall expire on December 31, 2000.
        3. Group III.—The terms of five members, composed of two electors as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)c. of Article V, one member of the bar of Florida as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)b., one judge from the district courts of appeal and one county judge as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)a. of Article V, shall expire on December 31, 2002.
      8. An appointment to fill a vacancy of the commission shall be for the remainder of the term.
      9. Selection of members by district courts of appeal judges, circuit judges, and county court judges, shall be by no less than a majority of the members voting at the respective courts' conferences. Selection of members by the board of governors of the bar of Florida shall be by no less than a majority of the board.
      10. The commission shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation and prosecution, in addition to any penalty levied by the supreme court.
      11. The compensation of members and referees shall be the travel expenses or transportation and per diem allowance as provided by general law.

ARTICLE V: JUDICIARY, Section 20. Schedule to Article V.

SECTION 20. Schedule to Article V.
  1. This article shall replace all of Article V of the Constitution of 1885, as amended, which shall then stand repealed.
  2. Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this article, all provisions of law and rules of court in force on the effective date of this article shall continue in effect until superseded in the manner authorized by the constitution.
  3. After this article becomes effective, and until changed by general law consistent with sections 1 through 19 of this article:
    1. The supreme court shall have the jurisdiction immediately theretofore exercised by it, and it shall determine all proceedings pending before it on the effective date of this article.
    2. The appellate districts shall be those in existence on the date of adoption of this article. There shall be a district court of appeal in each district. The district courts of appeal shall have the jurisdiction immediately theretofore exercised by the district courts of appeal and shall determine all proceedings pending before them on the effective date of this article.
    3. Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of appeals from county courts and municipal courts, except those appeals which may be taken directly to the supreme court; and they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all actions at law not cognizable by the county courts; of proceedings relating to the settlement of the estate of decedents and minors, the granting of letters testamentary, guardianship, involuntary hospitalization, the determination of incompetency, and other jurisdiction usually pertaining to courts of probate; in all cases in equity including all cases relating to juveniles; of all felonies and of all misdemeanors arising out of the same circumstances as a felony which is also charged; in all cases involving legality of any tax assessment or toll; in the action of ejectment; and in all actions involving the titles or boundaries or right of possession of real property. The circuit court may issue injunctions. There shall be judicial circuits which shall be the judicial circuits in existence on the date of adoption of this article. The chief judge of a circuit may authorize a county court judge to order emergency hospitalizations pursuant to Chapter 71-131, Laws of Florida, in the absence from the county of the circuit judge and the county court judge shall have the power to issue all temporary orders and temporary injunctions necessary or proper to the complete exercise of such jurisdiction.
    4. County courts shall have original jurisdiction in all criminal misdemeanor cases not cognizable by the circuit courts, of all violations of municipal and county ordinances, and of all actions at law in which the matter in controversy does not exceed the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) exclusive of interest and costs, except those within the exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit courts. Judges of county courts shall be committing magistrates. The county courts shall have jurisdiction now exercised by the county judge's courts other than that vested in the circuit court by subsection (c)(3) hereof, the jurisdiction now exercised by the county courts, the claims court, the small claims courts, the small claims magistrates courts, magistrates courts, justice of the peace courts, municipal courts and courts of chartered counties, including but not limited to the counties referred to in Article VIII, sections 9, 10, 11 and 24 of the Constitution of 1885.
    5. Each judicial nominating commission shall be composed of the following:
      1. Three members appointed by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar from among The Florida Bar members who are actively engaged in the practice of law with offices within the territorial jurisdiction of the affected court, district or circuit;
      2. Three electors who reside in the territorial jurisdiction of the court or circuit appointed by the governor; and
      3. Three electors who reside in the territorial jurisdiction of the court or circuit and who are not members of the bar of Florida, selected and appointed by a majority vote of the other six members of the commission.
    6. No justice or judge shall be a member of a judicial nominating commission. A member of a judicial nominating commission may hold public office other than judicial office. No member shall be eligible for appointment to state judicial office so long as that person is a member of a judicial nominating commission and for a period of two years thereafter. All acts of a judicial nominating commission shall be made with a concurrence of a majority of its members.
    7. The members of a judicial nominating commission shall serve for a term of four years except the terms of the initial members of the judicial nominating commissions shall expire as follows:
      1. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1974;
      2. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1975;
      3. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1976;
    8. All fines and forfeitures arising from offenses tried in the county court shall be collected, and accounted for by clerk of the court, and deposited in a special trust account. All fines and forfeitures received from violations of ordinances or misdemeanors committed within a county or municipal ordinances committed within a municipality within the territorial jurisdiction of the county court shall be paid monthly to the county or municipality respectively. If any costs are assessed and collected in connection with offenses tried in county court, all court costs shall be paid into the general revenue fund of the state of Florida and such other funds as prescribed by general law.
    9. Any municipality or county may apply to the chief judge of the circuit in which that municipality or county is situated for the county court to sit in a location suitable to the municipality or county and convenient in time and place to its citizens and police officers and upon such application said chief judge shall direct the court to sit in the location unless the chief judge shall determine the request is not justified. If the chief judge does not authorize the county court to sit in the location requested, the county or municipality may apply to the supreme court for an order directing the county court to sit in the location. Any municipality or county which so applies shall be required to provide the appropriate physical facilities in which the county court may hold court.
    10. All courts except the supreme court may sit in divisions as may be established by local rule approved by the supreme court.
    11. A county court judge in any county having a population of 40,000 or less according to the last decennial census, shall not be required to be a member of the bar of Florida.
    12. Municipal prosecutors may prosecute violations of municipal ordinances.
    13. Justice shall mean a justice elected or appointed to the supreme court and shall not include any judge assigned from any court.
  4. When this article becomes effective:
    1. All courts not herein authorized, except as provided by subsection (d)(4) of this section shall cease to exist and jurisdiction to conclude all pending cases and enforce all prior orders and judgments shall vest in the court that would have jurisdiction of the cause if thereafter instituted. All records of and property held by courts abolished hereby shall be transferred to the proper office of the appropriate court under this article.
    2. Judges of the following courts, if their terms do not expire in 1973 and if they are eligible under subsection (d)(8) hereof, shall become additional judges of the circuit court for each of the counties of their respective circuits, and shall serve as such circuit judges for the remainder of the terms to which they were elected and shall be eligible for election as circuit judges thereafter. These courts are: civil court of record of Dade county, all criminal courts of record, the felony courts of record of Alachua, Leon and Volusia Counties, the courts of record of Broward, Brevard, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, the civil and criminal court of record of Pinellas County, and county judge's courts and separate juvenile courts in counties having a population in excess of 100,000 according to the 1970 federal census. On the effective date of this article, there shall be an additional number of positions of circuit judges equal to the number of existing circuit judges and the number of judges of the above named courts whose term expires in 1973. Elections to such offices shall take place at the same time and manner as elections to other state judicial offices in 1972 and the terms of such offices shall be for a term of six years. Unless changed pursuant to section nine of this article, the number of circuit judges presently existing and created by this subsection shall not be changed.
    3. In all counties having a population of less than 100,000 according to the 1970 federal census and having more than one county judge on the date of the adoption of this article, there shall be the same number of judges of the county court as there are county judges existing on that date unless changed pursuant to section 9 of this article.
    4. Municipal courts shall continue with their same jurisdiction until amended or terminated in a manner prescribed by special or general law or ordinances, or until January 3, 1977, whichever occurs first. On that date all municipal courts not previously abolished shall cease to exist. Judges of municipal courts shall remain in office and be subject to reappointment or reelection in the manner prescribed by law until said courts are terminated pursuant to the provisions of this subsection. Upon municipal courts being terminated or abolished in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, the judges thereof who are not members of the bar of Florida, shall be eligible to seek election as judges of county courts of their respective counties.
    5. Judges, holding elective office in all other courts abolished by this article, whose terms do not expire in 1973 including judges established pursuant to Article VIII, sections 9 and 11 of the Constitution of 1885 shall serve as judges of the county court for the remainder of the term to which they were elected. Unless created pursuant to section 9, of this Article V such judicial office shall not continue to exist thereafter.
    6. By March 21, 1972, the supreme court shall certify the need for additional circuit and county judges. The legislature in the 1972 regular session may by general law create additional offices of judge, the terms of which shall begin on the effective date of this article. Elections to such offices shall take place at the same time and manner as election to other state judicial offices in 1972.
    7. County judges of existing county judge's courts and justices of the peace and magistrates' court who are not members of bar of Florida shall be eligible to seek election as county court judges of their respective counties.
    8. No judge of a court abolished by this article shall become or be eligible to become a judge of the circuit court unless the judge has been a member of bar of Florida for the preceding five years.
    9. The office of judges of all other courts abolished by this article shall be abolished as of the effective date of this article.
    10. The offices of county solicitor and prosecuting attorney shall stand abolished, and all county solicitors and prosecuting attorneys holding such offices upon the effective date of this article shall become and serve as assistant state attorneys for the circuits in which their counties are situate for the remainder of their terms, with compensation not less than that received immediately before the effective date of this article.
  5. LIMITED OPERATION OF SOME PROVISIONS.—
    1. All justices of the supreme court, judges of the district courts of appeal and circuit judges in office upon the effective date of this article shall retain their offices for the remainder of their respective terms. All members of the judicial qualifications commission in office upon the effective date of this article shall retain their offices for the remainder of their respective terms. Each state attorney in office on the effective date of this article shall retain the office for the remainder of the term.
    2. No justice or judge holding office immediately after this article becomes effective who held judicial office on July 1, 1957, shall be subject to retirement from judicial office because of age pursuant to section 8 of this article.
  6. Until otherwise provided by law, the nonjudicial duties required of county judges shall be performed by the judges of the county court.
  7. All provisions of Article V of the Constitution of 1885, as amended, not embraced herein which are not inconsistent with this revision shall become statutes subject to modification or repeal as are other statutes.
  8. The requirements of section 14 relative to all county court judges or any judge of a municipal court who continues to hold office pursuant to subsection (d)(4) hereof being compensated by state salaries shall not apply prior to January 3, 1977, unless otherwise provided by general law.
  9. DELETION OF OBSOLETE SCHEDULE ITEMS.—The legislature shall have power, by concurrent resolution, to delete from this article any subsection of this section 20 including this subsection, when all events to which the subsection to be deleted is or could become applicable have occurred. A legislative determination of fact made as a basis for application of this subsection shall be subject to judicial review.
  10. EFFECTIVE DATE.—Unless otherwise provided herein, this article shall become effective at 11:59 o'clock P.M., Eastern Standard Time, January 1, 1973.

ARTICLE V: JUDICIARY, New Section.

Catchline: Judicial selection; vacancies; nominating commissions.

(a) JUDICIAL SELECTION.

(1) SUPREME COURT. The Governor shall fill any vacancy of any justice of the Florida Supreme Court by nominating, on the basis of merit, a person from a list submitted by an independent non-partisan judicial nominating commission, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and by and with the separate advice and consent of the House of Representatives, shall appoint said person as a justice of the Florida Supreme Court.

(2) DISTRICT COURTS OF APPEAL; CIRCUIT COURTS. The Governor shall fill any vacancy of any judge of the District Courts of Appeal and the Circuit Courts by nominating on the basis of merit, a person from a list submitted by an appropriate judicial nominating commission, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint said person to the court where the vacancy occurs.

(3) COUNTY COURTS. The judges of the County Courts shall be elected, on a partisan basis, by the qualified voters of the respective county in a general election for terms of eight years.

(4) TERMS OF OFFICE. The justices of the Supreme Court shall serve single nonrenewable terms of nine years. No justice may be reappointed to the Supreme Court. The judges of the District Courts of Appeal and the judges of the Circuit Courts shall serve terms of seven years.

(b) VACANCIES.

(1) A vacancy within any of the aforementioned Courts occurs when a justice or judge dies; resigns; attains 73 years of age; is removed from office; is impeach or arrested for any crimes or misdemeanors; or is elected or appointed to any civil or military office of the State or the United States.

(2)(A) Whenever a vacancy occurs in the Supreme Court, the District Courts of Appeal, or the Circuit Courts, the appropriate judicial nominating commission shall submit a list of no less than six nominees to the Governor within fifteen days of the date the vacancy began. The Governor shall select a candidate from amongst the list of nominees, and the appropriate house or houses of the Legislature shall fill the vacancy within forty-five days of the Governor receiving the list of nominees.

(B) The Senate, or the Legislature, if necessary, shall convene in special session for the purpose of filling judicial vacancies. If any candidate selected by the Governor is rejected by the Legislature, the judicial nominating process shall recommence.

(3) Whenever a vacancy occurs in a County Court, the appropriate judicial nominating commission shall submit a list of no less than six nominees to the Governor within fifteen days of the date the vacancy began. Within fifteen days of receiving the said list, the Governor shall fill the vacancy by selecting one of the nominees. The nominee so chosen shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

(c) JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSIONS.

(1) There shall be one judicial nominating commission for each appellate district and for each judicial circuit.

(2) Each appellate circuit commission shall nominate resident justices of the Supreme Court and resident judges of the respective District Court of Appeal.

(3) Each judicial circuit commission shall nominate resident judges of the respective Circuit Court and resident judges of any County Court within the said judicial circuit.

(4)(A) Each judicial nominating commission shall consist of fifteen members as follows:

(i) eight non-lawyer members shall be appointed by the Governor; and

(ii) seven active members of the State Bar shall be appointed by the governing body of the State Bar.

(B) Members of a judicial nominating commission shall serve single nonrenewable terms of five years. The members of each commission shall biennially elect, from their number, a chair and a vice-chair.

(5) No public officeholder of the United States, the State, or its political subdivisions, shall be a member of any judicial nominating commission. In addition, no member of any commission shall be related by blood or marriage to any incumbent justice or judge of the Courts.