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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

 8:30 PM 

Constitutional amendment on Supreme Court chief justice tabled

The Assembly tabled a constitutional amendment that would allow the Supreme Court to elect the chief justice. Now, that position goes to the most senior member of the court.

As the Assembly began discussion on the amendment, a Dem amendment related to recusals was added to the legislation via voice vote.

After majority Republicans realized the mistake, the chamber went informal.

The Dem amendment seeks to force judges to recuse themselves if a reasonable person would question if they could be impartial on a case or party to the case has made a contribution of at least $1,000 to the judge or the judge's opponent.

To remove the Dem amendment, the body would have to give its unanimous consent to go back to the amendable stage. Dems oppose the amendment and are unlikely to agree to such a request.

With just more than a week left in the regular floor period, that impasse puts the amendment in limbo. It would have to pass consecutive sessions of the Legislature before it could to the public for a referendum.


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