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Should Councilors Attend a Nominee’s Hearing in Order to Vote on the Nomination?

Process for appointing judges in Massachusetts.

The Governor’s Council holds hearings for each nomination presented to them.  Not all councilors are always present for these hearings, as can be seen by the notes I am posting on: www.Patrickmccabegovernorscouncil.com

When there is a close vote it is natural to feel uncomfortable when a councilor who was not present for the hearing votes.

One might presume that such a vote is made without the full knowledge of the nominee’s abilities.

Each hearing is recorded and is available for review; the quality of these recordings is at times unintelligible, at other times,  adequate to hear the questions asked and the answers given.

A councilor can also review written materials provided to the Governor’s Council, the nominee’s resume, the Governor’s Council questionnaire, and part two of the application filled out for the Judicial Nominating Commission, when requested.

A councilor may also conduct a private interview of the nominee, although this does defeat the idea of a public forum.

If a councilor avails themselves of all these materials it could be argued that their vote is as informed as the vote of the councilors who attended the hearing.

There is no way of telling if a councilor availed themselves of the materials available to them when they vote for a nominee whose hearing they did not attend.

It should be noted that according to my records when a councilor does cast a vote on a nominee whose hearing they did not attend, that vote has been in the affirmative for the nominee.

 

If there is anything you would like to know about the Council please feel free to contact me at patrickmccabegovernorscouncil@gmail.com

To learn more about the council and what it is currently doing please check out my site at patrickmccabegovernorscouncil.com

Patrick McCabe

Candidate for Governor's Council District Two

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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