University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Since 1970, the District of Columbia court system has been comprised of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.' From the time of the establishment of the District, judges of its courts have been appointed by the President of the United States, acting on the advice of the Attorney General. When the general issue of District home rule came before Congress in the 1960s, one of the subjects considered was the judicial appointment process. In 1970, the District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act 2 continued the Presidential appointment authority but made the appointments subject to Senate confirmation. In 1973, in the legislation known as the D.C. Home Rule Act, Congress modified the judicial appointment process by creating the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission ("Commission"). 3 This body is charged with the responsibility of recommending three nominees for every vacancy on either the Court of Appeals or the Superior Court. The appointment power is retained by the President, but the selection must be made from the lists provided by the Commission. Presidential appointments also remain subject to Senate confirmation.

First Page