URGENT: Protect diversity in judicial appointments by calling your state rep RIGHT NOW!

Calling all lawyers, people who know lawyers and people who care about ensuring qualified and diverse appointees to our Utah state judiciary!

HB 93 would prohibit the committee in charge of vetting judges from adopting criteria to evaluate judicial candidates by committee rules. The current rules are reasonable and ensure that diverse and qualified candidates are nominated to our state courts. HB 93 barely passed the House subcommittee in a 5-4 vote and will soon be voted on by the full Utah House of Representatives! It needs to be blocked to protect diversity in the judiciary.

HB 93 is going up for a vote TODAY, so we need people contacting their representatives RIGHT NOW. We can do this!

CALL TO ACTION

  • Email or text your Utah representatives RIGHT NOW to vote “NO on HB 93 – Judicial Nominating Process Amendments.” Find your state representative by clicking here. Be sure to mention that you are a CONSTITUENT! The Representatives are currently in session, so emails and texts are best.

Use email header: “From Constituent – Vote NO on HB 93: Judicial Nominating Process Amendments”.

Talking points:

  • The judiciary in Utah is already not proportionately reflective of Utah’s culture in terms of representation of women and racial and ethnic diversity
  • Diversity of judges increases the legitimacy of justice in the eyes of the public
  • The diversity gap in Utah cannot be (and has not been) fixed “naturally”, and HB 93 would actually make the representation gap wider by disincentivizing qualified diverse students from studying law in Utah.
  • HB 93 is opposed by the Utah State Bar Association, the Dean of the UofU law school, the CCJJ, and the ACLU.

More information:

Robert Gehrke points out that the bill’s sponsor has been a vocal opponent of allowing the judicial nominating commission from considering an applicant’s race or gender.  The rules do not require this consideration, only allow it.  HB 93 would do away with that ability to consider race or gender.  This is bad for Utah!

The Utah State Bar has taken the rare step of publicly opposing this bill and encouraging lawyers across the state to oppose it.  Click here to read Utah State Bar President Robert O. Rice’s thoughts on this bill. 

HB 93 has also been opposed by Dean Robert Adler of the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law, who argues that Utah’s judiciary is not currently representative of Utah’s population and this bill would make the problem worse.

This bill has been opposed by the committee in charge of vetting judicial applicants, the ACLU and countless lawyers and ordinary citizens.

TIPS for contacting your state legislator:

  1. Keep your email or text very short — 2-3 sentences at the most. Get right to the point, starting in the subject line of the email.
  2. Emails and texts are more effective than calls for contacting state legislators because of their limited staff.
  3. ALWAYS mention if you are a constituent. Please contact your own legislator only unless you are contacting committee members hearing a bill.
  4. Always use the full bill name. Legislators are juggling hundreds of bills and won’t always know bills by their number.

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