H-1853.1          _______________________________________________


                            HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 4226



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Representatives Appelwick, Winsley, Vance, D. Sommers and Broback.


Read first time February 21, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Judiciary.Amending the Constitution to change the method of selecting the chief justice of the state supreme court.


     THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state there shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article IV, section 3 of the Constitution of the state of Washington to read as follows:


     Article IV, section 3.     (1) The judges of the supreme court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at large at the general state election at the times and places at which state officers are elected, unless some other time be provided by the legislature.  The first election of judges of the supreme court shall be at the election which shall be held upon the adoption of this Constitution and the judges elected thereat shall be classified by lot, so that two shall hold their office for the term of three years, two for the term of five years, and one for the term of seven years.  The lot shall be drawn by the judges who shall for that purpose assemble at the seat of government, and they shall cause the result thereof to be certified to the secretary of state, and filed in his or her office.  ((The judge having the shortest term to serve not holding his office by appointment or election to fill a vacancy, shall be the chief justice, and shall preside at all sessions of the supreme court, and in case there shall be two judges having in like manner the same short term, the other judges of the supreme court shall determine which of them shall be chief justice.  In case of the absence of the chief justice, the judge having in like manner the shortest or next shortest term to serve shall preside.))  After the first election the terms of judges elected shall be six years from and after the second Monday in January next succeeding their election.  If a vacancy occur in the office of a judge of the supreme court the governor shall appoint a person to hold the office until the election and qualification of a judge to fill the vacancy, which election shall take place at the next succeeding general election, and the judge so elected shall hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.  The term of office of the judges of the supreme court, first elected, shall commence as soon as the state shall have been admitted into the Union, and continue for the term herein provided, and until their successors are elected and qualified.  The sessions of the supreme court shall be held at the seat of government until otherwise provided by law.

     (2) The judges shall by majority vote select from among themselves a chief justice who shall serve a four-year term.  By majority vote, the judges shall fill any vacancy in an unexpired term in the office of chief justice.


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the secretary of state shall cause notice of the foregoing constitutional amendment to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state.