Today's Law As Amended


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AB-265 Elections: state and county voter information guides: judicial candidates.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 9083 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9083.
 If the ballot contains a question as to the confirmation or retention  of a justice of the Supreme Court or a court of appeal, the Secretary of State shall include the following  in the state voter information guide a written explanation of the electoral procedure for justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal. The explanation shall state the following: guide: 
(a) A written explanation of the electoral procedure for justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal. The explanation shall state the following:
“Under the California Constitution, justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal are subject to confirmation by the voters. The public votes “yes” or “no” on whether to retain each justice.
“These judicial offices are nonpartisan.
“Before a person can become an appellate justice, the Governor must submit the candidate’s name to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, which is comprised of public members and lawyers. The commission conducts a thorough review of the candidate’s background and qualifications, with community input, and then forwards its evaluation of the candidate to the Governor.
“The Governor then reviews the commission’s evaluation and officially nominates the candidate, whose qualifications are subject to public comment before examination and review by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That commission consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General of California, and a senior Presiding Justice of the Courts of Appeal. The Commission on Judicial Appointments must then confirm or reject the nomination. Only if confirmed does the nominee become a justice.
“Following confirmation, the justice is sworn into office and is subject to voter approval at the next gubernatorial election, and thereafter at the conclusion of each term. The term prescribed by the California Constitution for justices of the Supreme Court and courts of appeal is 12 years. Justices are confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments only until the next gubernatorial election, at which time they run for retention of the remainder of the term, if any, of their predecessor, which will be either four or eight years.”
(b) (1) The following information for each justice of the Supreme Court or a court of appeal subject to confirmation or retention:
(A) Current title.
(B) Date of admission to the State Bar.
(C) Educational background.
(D) Professional legal background.
(E) Judicial background.
(2) For justices of a court of appeal, the Secretary of State may choose to include the information required by paragraph (1) in the online version of the state voter information guide only.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9084 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9084.
 The state voter information guide shall contain all of the following:
(a) A complete copy of each state measure.
(b) (1) Before  Except as provided in paragraph (2), before    each state measure, a conspicuous notice that identifies the location on the Secretary of State’s internet website of the specific constitutional or statutory provision that the state measure would repeal or revise.
(2) The text of a measure relating to debts and liabilities, including a bond measure, shall be printed in the state voter information guide as required by Section 1 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.
(c) A copy of the arguments and rebuttals for and against each state measure.
(d) A copy of the analysis of each state measure.
(e) Tables of contents, indexes, art work, graphics, and other materials that the Secretary of State determines will make the state voter information guide easier to understand or more useful for the average voter.
(f) A notice, conspicuously printed on the cover of the state voter information guide, indicating that additional copies of the state voter information guide will be mailed by the county elections official upon request.
(g) A written explanation of the judicial retention procedure as required by Section 9083.
(h) The Voter Bill of Rights pursuant to Section 2300.
(i) If the ballot contains an election for the office of United States Senator, information on candidates for United States Senator. A candidate for United States Senator may purchase the space to place a statement in the state voter information guide that does not exceed 250 words. The statement shall not make any reference to any opponent of the candidate. The statement shall be submitted in accordance with timeframes and procedures set forth by the Secretary of State for the preparation of the state voter information guide.
(j) If the ballot contains a question on the confirmation or retention of a justice of the Supreme Court, information on justices of the Supreme Court who are subject to confirmation or retention.
(k) (j)  If the ballot contains an election for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, a notice that refers voters to the Secretary of State’s internet website for information about candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.
( (k) 
l
)  A written explanation of the appropriate election procedures for party-nominated, voter-nominated, and nonpartisan offices as required by Section 9083.5.
(m) (l)  A written explanation of the top 10 contributor lists required by Section 84223 of the Government Code, including a description of the internet websites where those lists are available to the public.

SEC. 3.

 Section 13307.8 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

13307.8.
 (a) The county voter information guide shall contain the following information for each candidate for judge of the superior court who will appear on the ballot in an election:
(1) Current title.
(2) Date of admission to the State Bar.
(3) Professional legal background.
(b) The county elections official is not required to include the information required by subdivision (a) in the print version of the county voter information guide mailed to voters, but shall post the information on the official’s internet website.
SEC. 4.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.