DSBA Bylaws provide the formation of a Committee on Judicial Appointments
(a) Membership. The Committee on Judicial Appointments shall consist of twenty-two (22)
members as follows. The President and President-Elect of the Bar Association shall serve as
voting ex-officio members of the Committee, and the remaining twenty (20) members shall be
appointed by the President, with at least five (5) from each County. The President shall
designate the Chair or Chairs of the Committee and such Vice Chair or Vice Chairs as deemed
appropriate. The quorum of the Committee for conducting business shall be at least eleven (11)
members, provided further that at least two (2) members shall be present from the County in
which a judicial vacancy designated for such County is to be considered. The President and
President-Elect may be considered for the purpose of determining whether there is a quorum of
members present. Each member of the Committee must have had litigation experience before at
least one of the courts of the State of Delaware included within the composition of the Judicial
Conference as provided for in Rule 81(a) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of
Delaware. Appointment shall be made to the Committee so as to ensure the membership of the
Committee will include litigators with experience in each court identified in Supreme Court Rule
81(a). Except as set forth in subparagraph (b) below, no member of the Committee shall be a
member of any other committee, commission, or other body considering judicial appointments,
provided, however, that nothing shall preclude the Chair of the Committee, or the designee
described in subparagraph (b) below, from communicating with members of any such other
body. The members of the Committee shall serve at the pleasure of the President.
(b) Designated Representative. The President, with the consent and approval of the
Executive Committee, shall designate a member of the Committee to be the Bar Association’s
representative on the Judicial Nominating Commission (the “Commission”). The designee shall
serve at the pleasure of the President. Within the Rules of the Commission, the designee shall
keep the Chair of the Committee advised of all pertinent activities of the Commission in order to
ensure that the Committee has sufficient opportunity to review and pass upon nominees for
judicial appointment recommended by the Commission.
(c) Consideration of Nominees. Nominees shall be considered by the Committee as follows:
(1) Upon being notified by the designee that the Commission has made recommendations or
at the request of the appointing authority to review a nomination for judicial office for the
Supreme Court, Court of Chancery, Superior Court, Family Court, or Court of Common Pleas,
the Chair of the Committee shall, as soon as practicable, schedule a meeting of the Committee
for the purpose of reviewing the nominees.
(2) At the meeting to consider nominees, the Committee shall review the information
provided by the designee to the Commission which shall include a copy of each nominee’s
application to the Commission along with information obtained by the Commission concerning
each nominee. At the meeting to consider nominees for the positions, the Committee shall
review such information as is available as to each nominee.
(3) In its deliberations, the Committee shall be guided by, among other factors, the standards
set forth in the Delaware Judge’s Code of Judicial Conduct, the Handbook for Judicial
Nominating Commissioners prepared by the Judicature Society, and the Guidelines for
Reviewing Qualifications for Candidates for State Judicial Office prepared by the American Bar
(4) The Committee will then pass upon each nominee, determining whether to “recommend”
or “not recommend” each nominee for judicial office by a majority vote of those present at the
meeting. The Committee does not determine whether the nominee is qualified or not qualified
for the judicial position. A sitting judge, seeking the same or another judicial position, shall be
deemed to be “recommended” for the judicial position unless a two-thirds supermajority of those
present at the meeting votes that the nominee is “not recommended.”
(d) Communications and Confidentiality.
(1) As soon as possible, the designee shall communicate the Committee’s decision in writing
to the Chair of the Commission and communicate orally to the Commission only such other
information concerning the Committee’s decisions as the Committee shall deem appropriate.
The Chair of the Committee shall communicate the Committee’s decision as to the nominees in
writing to the Governor or to such other body as is appropriate. The Chair of the Committee
may also communicate orally only such other information concerning the Committee’s decision
as the Committee shall deem appropriate.
(2) In all cases, the Chair of the Committee shall submit in writing the recommendations and
actions of the Committee regarding candidates or nominees for judicial office to the President of
the Association, and to such other persons as the Executive Committee may direct or authorize.
(3) Except as expressly provided herein, all deliberations and actions of the Committee shall
be confidential and should not be discussed with anyone outside the Committee. Committee
members shall refrain from making any statements that might be attributed to the Committee
regarding any potential candidate or nominee for judicial office.
(e) Not Recommended Nominees. If the Governor appoints as a nominee a member of a
court of the State of Delaware identified in Supreme Court Rule 81(a) or as a Commissioner and
that nominee has received from the Committee a “not recommend,” the Chair shall then convene
a meeting of the Committee for the purpose of determining whether the Committee shall
recommend to the Executive Committee that the Association advise the President Pro Tem of the
Senate and the members of the committee(s) which review nominations for judicial vacancies
that the Bar Association does not recommend a nominee. The Committee shall advise the
Executive Committee of its recommendation and give the reasons supporting that
(f) Other than as set forth in subparagraphs (d) and (e) above, the Executive Committee shall
have the sole power of the Association to communicate decisions regarding candidates or
nominees for judicial office and the Committee shall not communicate with anyone concerning
its deliberations, decisions, and actions. The Committee shall have the exclusive power on
behalf of the Association to review, consider, and recommend or not recommend candidates or
nominees for judicial office.