Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–204.34. District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission.

(a) There is established for the District of Columbia the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (hereafter in this section referred to as the “Commission”). The Commission shall consist of seven members selected in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b). Such members shall serve for terms of six years, except that the member selected in accordance with subsection (b)(4)(A) shall serve for five years; of the members first selected in accordance with subsection (b)(4)(B), one member shall serve for three years and one member shall serve for six years; of the members first selected in accordance with subsection (b)(4)(C), one member shall serve for a term of three years and one member shall serve for five years; the member first selected in accordance with subsection (b)(4)(D) shall serve for six years; and the member first appointed in accordance with subsection (b)(4)(E) shall serve for six years. In making the respective first appointments according to subsections (b)(4)(B) and (b)(4)(C), the Mayor and the Board of Governors of the unified District of Columbia Bar shall designate, at the time of such appointments, which member shall serve for the shorter term and which member shall serve for the longer term.

(b)(1) No person may be appointed to the Commission unless the person —

(A) is a citizen of the United States;

(B) is a bona fide resident of the District and has maintained an actual place of abode in the District for at least 90 days immediately prior to appointment; and

(C) is not a member, officer, or employee of the legislative branch or of an executive or military department or agency of the United States (listed in sections 101 and 102 of title 5 of the United States Code); and (except with respect to the person appointed or designated according to paragraph (4)(E)) is not an officer or employee of the judicial branch of the United States, or an officer or employee of the District government (including its judicial branch).

(2) Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. Any person so appointed to fill a vacancy occurring other than upon the expiration of a prior term shall serve only for the remainder of the unexpired term of such person’s predecessor.

(3) It shall be the function of the Commission to submit nominees for appointment to positions as judges of the District of Columbia courts in accordance with § 1-204.33.

(4) In addition to all other qualifications listed in this section, lawyer members of the Commission shall have the qualifications prescribed for persons appointed as judges for the District of Columbia courts. Members of the Commission shall be appointed as follows:

(A) One member shall be appointed by the President of the United States.

(B) Two members shall be appointed by the Board of Governors of the unified District of Columbia Bar, both of whom shall have been engaged in the practice of law in the District for at least five successive years preceding their appointment.

(C) Two members shall be appointed by the Mayor, one of whom shall not be a lawyer.

(D) One member shall be appointed by the Council, and shall not be a lawyer.

(E) One member shall be appointed by the chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and such member shall be an active or retired Federal judge serving in the District.

(5) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation for services rendered in connection with their official duties on the Commission.

(c)(1) The Commission shall act only at meetings called by the Chairman or a majority of the Commission held after notice has been given of such meeting to all Commission members. Meetings of the Commission may be closed to the public. Section 1-207.42 shall not apply to meetings of the Commission.

(2) The Commission shall choose annually, from among its members, a Chairman, and such other officers as it may deem necessary. The Commission may adopt such rules of procedures not inconsistent with this chapter as may be necessary to govern the business of the Commission.

(3) The District government shall furnish to the Commission, upon the request of the Commission, such records, information, services, and such other assistance and facilities as may be necessary to enable the Commission properly to perform its function. Information, records, and other materials furnished to or developed by the Commission in the performance of its duties under this section shall be privileged and confidential. Section 552 of title 5, United States Code (known as the Freedom of Information Act), shall not apply to any such materials.

(d)(1) In the event of a vacancy in any position of the judge of a District of Columbia court, the Commission shall, within sixty days following the occurrence of such vacancy, submit to the President, for possible nomination and appointment, a list of three persons for each vacancy. If more than one vacancy exists at one given time, the Commission must submit lists in which no person is named more than once and the President may select more than one nominee from one list. Whenever a vacancy will occur by reason of the expiration of such judge’s term of office, the Commission’s list of nominees shall be submitted to the President not less than sixty days prior to the occurrence of such vacancy. In the event the President fails to nominate, for Senate confirmation, one of the persons on the list submitted to the President under this section within sixty days after receiving such list, the Commission shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint one of those persons to fill the vacancy for which such list was originally submitted to the President.

(2) In the event any person recommended by the Commission to the President requests that the recommendation be withdrawn, dies, or in any other way becomes disqualified to serve as a judge of the District of Columbia courts, the Commission shall promptly recommend to the President one person to replace the person originally recommended.

(3) In no instance shall the Commission recommend any person, who in the event of timely nomination following a recommendation by the Commission, does not meet, upon such nomination, the qualifications specified in § 1-204.33.

(4) Upon submission to the President, the name of any individual recommended under this subsection shall be made public by the Judicial Nomination Commission.


(Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 796, Pub. L. 93-198, title IV, § 434; Oct. 13, 1977, 91 Stat. 1155, Pub. L. 95-131, § 3(b); Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3228, Pub. L. 99-573, §§ 8-10, 15; June 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103-266, §§ 2(b)(9), 2(b)(10), 108 Stat. 713; Sept. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 2369, Pub. L. 104-194, § 131(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., Title 11, appx., § 434.

1973 Ed., Title 11, appx., § 434.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-204.31 and § 1-204.33.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-224 amended section 202 of D.C. Law 18-160 to read as follows: “Sec. 202. Applicability. “Section 201 shall apply upon its ratification by a majority of the registered qualified electors of the District of Columbia voting in a referendum held for such purpose and a 35-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 303 of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 784; D.C. Official Code § 1-203.03), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.”.

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 18-224 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Time limit for submission of lists: Section 3 of Public Law 98-235 provided that notwithstanding the time limitations of subsection (d)(1) of this section, the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission shall submit lists for initial nominations and appointments to judicial positions created under the act within 90 days after the date of enactment of the act. Approved March 19, 1984.