In previewing this year’s election, here’s a look at the proposed amendments to the Georgia Constitution.
When voters see the ballot on Nov. 8 they will be asked to not only choose local, state and federal representatives but also to help out with the Georgia Constitution.
Four constitutional amendments will be on this year’s ballot. Here is a look at what those amendments are and what they mean for voters.
AMENDMENT 3 – JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION
WILL APPEAR AS: Reforms and re-establishes the Judicial Qualifications Commission and provides for its composition, governance, and powers.
Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to abolish the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission; require the General Assembly to create and provide by general law for the composition, manner of appointment, and governance of a new judicial Qualifications Commission, with such commission having the power to discipline, remove, and cause involuntary retirement of judges; require the Judicial Qualifications Commission to have procedures that provide for due process of law and review by the Supreme Court of its advisory opinions; and allow the Judicial Qualifications Commission to be open to the public in some manner?
WHAT IT IS: The proposed amendment would abolish the Judicial Qualifications Commission, or JQC, and replace it with another committee that would answer to and be run out of the state legislature.
Currently, the JQC serves as an independent watchdog organization in the state of Georgia that polices the state’s judges, investigating cases of alleged judicial misconduct and/or alleged violations of the seven Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The commission was created in 1972, and since 2007 has removed nearly six dozen judges, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Though the JQC has no power to criminally prosecute judges it has found guilty of misconduct – it is only allowed to remove judges from the bench – prosecutors have, in the past, used the results of the JQC’s investigations to charge judges with breaking the law.
WHO SUPPORTS IT? Rep. Wendell Willard (R-51), Rep. Jan Jones (R-47), Rep. Jon Burns (R-159), Rep. John Meadows (R-5), Rep. Johnnie Caldwell, Jr. (R-131)
WHO OPPOSES IT? Sen. Josh McKoon (R-29), the State Bar of Georgia.
To read about Amendment 1 click here.
To read about Amendment 2 click here.
To read about Amendment 4 click here.