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How Utah Judges are Selected

robes.jpgYou may have seen or heard the recent news stories about the governor's choices for new judges for Utah's courts, including a justice of the Supreme Court, three judges for the Court of Appeals and several district court and juvenile court judges.

The Judicial Selection Act (Utah Code ยง78A-10-101 et seq.) governs the procedure for selecting judges for courts of record.*

Each of Utah's eight judicial districts has its own Trial Court Nominating Commission which screens applicants for district and juvenile court judge positions. The Appellate Court Nominating Commission screens applicants for Court of Appeals and Supreme Court vacancies. After screening the applicants, the judicial nominating commission interviews candidates and submits the names of three to five finalists to the governor to choose from.

After the governor picks an appointee, the Utah Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee must recommend or reject that appointment. The Judicial Confirmation Committee's procedure for investing a nominee is governed by Senate Rule 24.04.1. These sessions are recorded, and you can listen to them at the commitee's home page.

If the appointee is recommended for confirmation, the entire state Senate votes on the recommendation. These sessions are recorded and the audio files are available at the Senate Floor Debates page.

The Utah Senate site maintains a list of upcoming Senate committee meetings. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds or email announcements from any Senate confirmation committee.

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* In Utah a court of record includes the district court, juvenile court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Justice courts are not courts of record.

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