36. Commission on appellate court appointments and terms, appointments and vacancies on commission
Section 36. A. There shall be a nonpartisan commission on appellate court appointments which shall be composed of the chief justice of the supreme court, who shall be chairman, five attorney members, who shall be nominated by the board of governors of the state bar of Arizona and appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate in the manner prescribed by law, and ten nonattorney members who shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate in the manner prescribed by law. At least ninety days prior to a term expiring or within twenty-one days of a vacancy occurring for a nonattorney member on the commission for appellate court appointments, the governor shall appoint a nominating committee of nine members, not more than five of whom may be from the same political party. The makeup of the committee shall, to the extent feasible, reflect the diversity of the population of the state. Members shall not be attorneys and shall not hold any governmental office, elective or appointive, for profit. The committee shall provide public notice that a vacancy exists and shall solicit, review and forward to the governor all applications along with the committee's recommendations for appointment.
Attorney members of the commission shall have resided in the state and shall have been admitted to practice before the supreme court for not less than five years. Not more than three attorney members shall be members of the same political party and not more than two attorney members shall be residents of any one county. Nonattorney members shall have resided in the state for not less than five years and shall not be judges, retired judges or admitted to practice before the supreme court. Not more than five nonattorney members shall be members of the same political party. Not more than two nonattorney members shall be residents of any one county. None of the attorney or nonattorney members of the commission shall hold any governmental office, elective or appointive, for profit, and no attorney member shall be eligible for appointment to any judicial office of the state until one year after he ceases to be a member. Attorney members of the commission shall serve staggered four-year terms and nonattorney members shall serve staggered four-year terms. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms in the same manner as the original appointments.
B. No person other than the chief justice shall serve at the same time as a member of more than one judicial appointment commission.
C. In making or confirming appointments to the appellate court commission, the governor, the senate and the state bar shall endeavor to see that the commission reflects the diversity of Arizona's population.
In the event of the absence or incapacity of the chairman the supreme court shall appoint a justice thereof to serve in his place and stead.
D. Prior to making recommendations to the governor as hereinafter provided, the commission shall conduct investigations, hold public hearings and take public testimony. An executive session as prescribed by rule may be held upon a two-thirds vote of the members of the commission in a public hearing. Final decisions as to recommendations shall be made without regard to political affiliation in an impartial and objective manner. The commission shall consider the diversity of the state's population, however the primary consideration shall be merit. Voting shall be in a public hearing. The expenses of meetings of the commission and the attendance of members thereof for travel and subsistence shall be paid from the general fund of the state as state officers are paid, upon claims approved by the chairman.
E. After public hearings the supreme court shall adopt rules of procedure for the commission on appellate court appointments.
F. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the initial appointments for the five additional nonattorney members and the two additional attorney members of the commission shall be designated by the governor for staggered terms as follows:
1. One appointment for a nonattorney member shall be for a one-year term.
2. Two appointments for nonattorney members shall be for a two-year term.
3. Two appointments for nonattorney members shall be for a three-year term.
4. One appointment for an attorney member shall be for a one-year term.
5. One appointments for an attorney member shall be for a two-year term.
G. The members currently serving on the commission may continue to serve until the expiration of their normal terms. All subsequent appointments shall be made as prescribed by this section.