We did have one vote this term when the council rejected an appointment for the Parole Board, so there is hope. We also had more tied votes than in the past 30 years. There are three open seats, one member unopposed, with challengers to incumbents., including myself.
It may not be a perfect system, but there is not a better one I would change it for.
Sen. Joyce has said that he wants to abolish the council and give the responsibility to "unbiased" lawyers on the Judicial Nominating Committee (JNC) who are appointed by the sitting governor.
The JNC members, with all due respect, are nameless, faceless lawyers who meet in private to choose who gets interviewed and recommended to the governor before the governor then chooses who to send to the Governor's Council.
This past year, the JNC recommended a nominee who worked part-time at home for a district attorney. In the JNC questionnaire, it asked the nominee to name at least five cases or trials that were significant in her legal experience. Her answer was: 1) Girl Scout leader and 2) Law Day.
In the Governor's Council questionnaire, this same nominee was asked to list political contributions she and her spouse had made in the previous three years. Her husband had donated $207,000. The nominee gave $500 to her boss, a district attorney. He testified for her at her hearing. She was confirmed as a district judge with the lt. governor breaking a tie vote.
Without the Governor's Council, would you want judges elected? I investigated 12 years ago and in two states that elect judges, Ohio and Michigan, the candidates for judges spent $6 million to $12 million in their campaigns. So you get the best judge that money can buy.
The Governor's Council was established to be the check and balance for the governor's appointments. I believe in it. I would not serve on this council if I didn't believe the council has an awesome responsibility to represent the people, and that purpose is never antiquated.