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									                                Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue                    Forum                 Proposal or Initiative                   Current or Previous Practice       Status                        Information
AZ      Disqualification         Arizona Supreme       Proposal to amend Rule 2.11 of the       No per se recusal rule for          6/2/2009: Arizona           Arizona Supreme
                                 Court                 Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct,        campaign contributions             Supreme Court amends          Court Order
                                                       to call for disqualification based on                                       the Arizona Code of           (6/2/2009)
                                                       campaign contributions; the                                                 Judicial Conduct, effective   Proposed New Code
                                                       proposal would require                                                      9/1/2009                      of Judicial Conduct
                                                       disqualification when “the judge                                             1/9/2009: Petition to
                                                       knows or learns by means of a                                               amend Code of Judicial
                                                       timely motion that a party, a party’s                                       Conduct filed on behalf of
                                                       lawyer, or the law firm of a party’s                                        the Arizona Supreme
                                                       lawyer has within the previous four                                         Court Task Force on the
                                                       years made aggregate contributions                                          Code of Judicial Conduct
                                                       to the judge’s campaign in an
                                                       amount that is greater than the
                                                       amounts permitted pursuant to”
                                                       Arizona law.
CA      Campaign conduct;        Commission for        Proposals include:                       Provision 3E(2) of the Judicial     12/15/2009:                 Final Report:
        public accountability    Impartial Courts,           Add provision to canon of         Code of Conduct makes no           Commission issued final       Recommendation for
        and education            reporting to the                 judicial ethics for           mention of disqualification on     report                        Safeguarding Judicial
                                 Judicial Council of              disqualification of sitting   grounds either of a judge’s                                      Quality, Impartiality,
                                 California                       judge who has made            public statements or the receipt                                 and Accountability in
                                                                  public statement while        of campaign contributions                                        CA (12/15/2009)
                                                                  campaigning that a            Provision 3E(2) does not                                         Recommendations
                                                                  reasonable person would       currently require any disclosure                                 Conversions Chart
                                                                  believe predisposes judge     based received contributions                                     (12/15/2009)
                                                                  to biased ruling in pending                                                                    Chart of Comments
                                                                  case                                                                                           (12/15/2009)
                                                             Trial judges would be                                                                              Consolidated List of
                                                                  required to disclose in                                                                        Recommendations
                                                                  court all contributions of                                                                     (12/15/2009)
                                                                  $100 or more                                                                                   Related Press: Ventura
                                                             Judges automatically                                                                               County Star
                                                                  disqualified in cases                                                                          (6/10/2009)
                                                                  involving parties whose                                                                        California Judicial
                                                                  contributions exceeded                                                                         Code of Conduct
                                                                  specific threshold levels                                                                      (amended 4/29/2009)
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum              Proposal or Initiative                 Current or Previous Practice      Status                       Information
CA      Disqualification    State House        AB 2487 would amend Section            No per se recusal rule for         05/20/2010: Passed in      AB 2487
                                               170.1 of the Code of Civil             campaign contributions            the Assembly; referred to
                                               Procedure to require recusal when a                                      Sen. Com. on the Judiciary
                                               party or attorney gave $1,500 to the                                      02/19/2010: Introduced
                                               judge’s campaign                                                         by Assemblyman Feuer
FL      Disqualification    State Bar          The Judicial Administration and        Provision 3E(1) of the Judicial     10/8/2009: JAEC met       Florida Bar News
                            Association        Evaluation Committee (JAEC) and        Code of Conduct states that a      to discuss parameters of    (11/1/2009)
                                               the Rules of Judicial Administration   judge should disqualify            recusal reform; Judicial    Florida Bar News
                                               and Education Committee of the         himself/herself when the           Ethics Advisory             (8/1/2009)
                                               Florida Bar formed a joint             judge’s impartiality might         Committee also attended;
                                               subcommittee to address recusal        reasonably be questioned           Charlie Geyh (of Indiana
                                               reform                                                                    University) gave
                                                                                                                         comments
GA      Disqualification    Judicial Council   The Judicial Council Recusal Rules     Canon 3 of GA Judicial Code         07/2010: JCRRC            Recusal Amendments
                            Recusal Rules      Committee (JCRRC) proposed             of Conduct states that a judge     submits recommendations     to Code of Judicial
                            Committee          amending Georgia’s Code of             should disqualify                  to the Supreme Court for    Conduct: Canon 3
                                               Judicial Conduct to specify that a     himself/herself when the           approval.                   (8/16/2010)
                                               judge is required to recuse when his   judge’s impartiality might
                                               or her impartiality might reasonably   reasonably be questioned
                                               be questioned because of campaign
                                               contributions.
GA      Disqualification    State House        H.B. 601: Specifies when a judge is    Canon 3 of GA Judicial Code        Bill died at the end of    H.B. 601
                                               required to recuse, and states that    of Conduct states that a judge    the 2010 session with no
                                               recusal is required when a judge       should disqualify                 action taken.
                                               fails to set up a campaign             himself/herself when the
                                               committee to accept contributions      judge’s impartiality might
                                               and instead directly solicits          reasonably be questioned
                                               contributions from a party,
                                               attorney, or law firm in a pending
                                               case
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum              Proposal or Initiative                 Current or Previous Practice      Status                         Information
MA      Disqualification    State Senate       S.B. 1807: Specifies when a judge is   Canon 4(E) of MA Judicial          06/2/2010: Public            S.B. 1807
                                               required to recuse and requires that   Code of Conduct states that a     hearing                        S.B. 1567
                                               judges refer all disqualification      magistrate should disqualify       04/5/2010: Senate
                                               motions to another judge assigned      himself/herself when the          reporting date extended to
                                               to hear such a request                 judge’s impartiality might        05/7/2010
                                               S.B. 1567: Specifies when a judge is   reasonably be questioned           12/31/2009: Session
                                               required to recuse                                                       ends without bills’ passage;
                                                                                                                        all bills carry over to 2010
                                                                                                                        session (which began
                                                                                                                        1/4/2010)
                                                                                                                         6/2/2009: Public hearing
                                                                                                                        held
                                                                                                                         1/20/2009: Bills referred
                                                                                                                        to Joint Committee on
                                                                                                                        Judiciary
MI      Disqualification    Michigan Supreme   Supreme Court adopts formal rules      Prior to adoption of rules:        11/25/2009: Supreme          Court Order
                            Court              for recusal requiring state Supreme     Judges decided on motions       Court formally adopts          (11/25/2009)
                                               Court justices to disqualify                concerning their own         recusal rules                  Related Press:
                                               themselves in cases in which their          disqualification              11/5/2009: Supreme           Michigan Free Press
                                               impartiality might reasonably be        Judges were not required        Court announces decision       (1/11/2010); Detroit
                                               questioned.                                 to issue reason for denial   to adopt rules for recusal,    News (12/1/2009);
                                               The adopted rules require recusal           of such motions              patterned on “Proposal C”      Michigan Free Press
                                               decisions to be rendered in writing.    Michigan had not formally       (see “Proposals” in next       (11/26/2009);
                                               The new rules also allow the full           adopted the ABA’s general    column)                        Associated Press
                                               Supreme Court to review an                  disqualification standard,                                  (11/27/2009)
                                               individual justice's decision not to        Rule 2.11(A) of the Model                                   Proposals (3/18/2009)
                                               recuse.                                     Code                                                        Joint Brennan Center
                                                                                                                                                       and Justice at Stake
                                                                                                                                                       Letter to Michigan
                                                                                                                                                       Supreme Court
                                                                                                                                                       (7/31/2009)
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum          Proposal or Initiative                  Current or Previous Practice       Status                         Information
MI      Disqualification    State House    House Joint Resolution P: Adds a        Judges decide on motions            12/31/2009: Session          HJRP
                                           section to the State Constitution to    concerning their own               ends without bill’s passage;   Michigan Policy
                                           clarify the circumstances under         disqualification                   all bills carry over to 2010   Network Bill Summary
                                           which justices of the Supreme Court     Judges are not required to issue   session                        and Analysis
                                           must disqualify themselves from         reason for denial of such           3/17/2009: Bill
                                           cases in which their impartiality       motions                            introduced
                                           might reasonably be questioned          Michigan has not formally
                                                                                   adopted the ABA’s general
                                                                                   disqualification standard, Rule
                                                                                   2.11(A) of the Model Code
MT      Disqualification    State House    LC 2027: Requires recusal of a          List of grounds for recusal in      4/28/2009: Bill died in      LC2027
                                           justice of the supreme court if he or   state code does not include        draft process                  Bill history
                                           she received campaign contribution      campaign contributions
                                           in excess of $250
NC      Disqualification    State Senate   S.B. 659: States that judges, in        Canon 3(C) of N.C. Judicial         8/7/2009: Session ends       S.B. 659
                                           response to a disqualification          Code of Conduct states that a      without bill’s passage; all
                                           motion, can either recuse or refer      judge should disqualify            bills carry over to 2010
                                           the disqualification motion to the      himself/herself when the           session
                                           Chief Justice for reassignment          judge’s impartiality may            3/19/2009 Referred to
                                                                                   reasonably be questioned;          Committee on Judiciary
                                                                                   judges are not currently
                                                                                   required to refer
                                                                                   disqualification motions to
                                                                                   another judge for consideration
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum               Proposal or Initiative                   Current or Previous Practice     Status                         Information
NC      Disqualification    State Senate        S.B. 797: Clarifies that a judge may     Canon 3 of N.C. Judicial Code     5/28/2010: Bill referred     S.B. 797
                                                recuse for any reason rendering          of Conduct states that a judge   to the House Committee
                                                him/her unable to perform the            should disqualify                on the Judiciary
                                                duties required of a judge in an         himself/herself when the          8/7/2009: Session ends
                                                impartial manner; requires that          judge’s impartiality may         without bill’s passage; all
                                                reasons for disqualification be put in   reasonably be questioned         bills carry over to 2010
                                                writing                                                                   session
                                                                                                                           5/28/2009: In
                                                                                                                          Committee on Judiciary;
                                                                                                                          reported favorably
                                                                                                                           5/11/2009: Bill passes
                                                                                                                          Senate
NV      Disqualification    Commission on the   Commission recommended                   Nevada has adopted ABA’s           01/19/2010: Supreme         Related Press:
                            Amendment to the    disqualification in the event that a     general disqualification         Court rejects proposal for     Associated Press
                            Nevada Code of      judge receives campaign                  standard, Rule 2.11(A) of the    $50,000 threshold to trigger   (1/1/2010); Las Vegas
                            Judicial Conduct,   contributions of $50,000 or more         Model Code                       recusal                        Journal (7/21/2009);
                            reporting to        from a party appearing before judge;                                        7/20/2009: Committee        Las Vegas Review
                            Supreme Court       these benchmarks vary in smaller                                          issued its report on           Journal (6/23/2009)
                                                districts where less aggregate money                                      disqualification
                                                is spent on elections

NY      Disqualification    Court of Appeals    New York State court reform group        No per se recusal rule for         4/23/2010: The Fund         The Fund For Modern
                                                issued a report urging the state to      campaign contributions            issues its report and calls   Courts April 2010
                                                adopt an automatic disqualification                                        upon Court of Appeals to      Recusal Report
                                                rule, under which judges would be                                          adopt new rule.
                                                required to recuse from cases in
                                                which a party made contributions to
                                                the judge’s campaign totaling $1,000
                                                or more.
NY      Disqualification    State House         A06879 would require disclosure of       No per se recusal rule for         1/6/2010: Referred to       A06879
                                                campaign contributions to judges by      campaign contributions            judiciary
                                                parties in an action (and their                                             3/13/2009: Referred to
                                                counsel) and would require recusal if                                      judiciary
                                                judge receives $500 or more from
                                                any party
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum          Proposal or Initiative                 Current or Previous Practice    Status                       Information
TX      Disqualification    State House    H.B. 4548: States that a justice of    Disqualification provision of     4/20/2009: Bill died in   H.B. 4548
                                           the supreme court or judge of the      Government Code does not         committee
                                           court of criminal appeals shall        consider campaign
                                           recuse him/herself from any case in    contributions made to judges
                                           which he/she has accepted political
                                           contributions totaling $1,000 over
                                           preceding 4 years from party to case
UT      Disqualification    Utah Supreme   Proposal to adopt Rule 2.11(A)(4)      No per se recusal rule for        Utah Supreme Court        Utah Code of Judicial
                            Court          of the ABA Model Code of Judicial      campaign contributions           adopts Rule 2.11(A)(4),     Conduct
                                           Conduct, to require disqualification                                    effective 4/1/2010
                                           when “the judge knows or learns by
                                           means of a timely motion that a
                                           party, a party’s lawyer, or the law
                                           firm of a party’s lawyer has within
                                           the previous three years made
                                           aggregate contributions to the
                                           judge’s retention in an amount that
                                           is greater than $50.”
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum              Proposal or Initiative                 Current or Previous Practice    Status                       Information
WA      Disqualification    Judicial Conduct   Proposal for new Code of Judicial      Washington has adopted ABA’s      9/8/2010: Washington      Proposed New
                            Task Force,        Conduct includes, as mandatory         general disqualification         Supreme Court adopted       Washington State Code
                            reporting to       grounds for disqualification,          standard, Rule 2.11(A) of the    New Code of Judicial        of Judicial Conduct
                            Supreme Court      financial support of judge's           Model Code                       Conduct, effective          (9/8/2010)
                                               campaign within last six years by                                       1/1/2011
                                               active litigant, when such support                                       4/30/2010: Public
                                               amounts to more than ten times the                                      comment period on
                                               state contribution limit. (Financial                                    proposed Judicial Code of
                                               support is defined as campaign                                          Conduct closed
                                               contributions or independent
                                               expenditures made in support of
                                               judge’s campaign and/or against
                                               opposing candidate, and includes a
                                               percentage of money given to PACs
                                               that support the judge's candidacy
                                               and/or attack his opponent's)
                                               Judge may disqualify himself if such
                                               financial support is more than two
                                               times but less than ten times the
                                               state contribution limit
                           Recusal Reform in the States After Caperton v. Massey (updated November 2010)

State   Issue               Forum              Proposal or Initiative                   Current or Previous Practice       Status                         Information
WI      Disqualification    Petitions to       Four petitions to amend the Code         Prior to 10/28/2009, campaign       07/07/2010: Order by         Wisconson Supreme
                            Supreme Court of   of Judicial Conduct:                     contributions were not among       the Wisconsin Supreme          Court Order
                            Wisconsin          One proposed rule (by League of          the grounds for recusal            Court amends SCR 60.04         (07/07/2010)
                                               Women Voters) would require              specifically enumerated in state   and modifies the Judicial      Justice Prosser’s
                                               recusal when a party to a case           code of judicial conduct           Code of Conduct by,            proposed revisions to
                                               contributed $1,000;                                                         among other things,            Rule Petitions 08-25
                                               One proposed rule (by retired                                               statingg that neither lawful   and 09-10
                                               Justice William Bablitch) would                                             campaign contributions         Petition by League of
                                               require recusal when a party to a                                           received from a campaign       Women Voters
                                               case contributed $10,000;                                                   supporter nor a party’s        (5/2009)
                                               One proposed rule (by Wisconsin                                             independent expenditures,      Petition by William
                                               Realtors Association) provides that a                                       can be the sole reason for     Bablitch (10/16/2009)
                                               judge shall not be disqualified solely                                      recusal in a proceeding        Petition by Wisconsin
                                               because of a lawful contribution;                                            1/15/2010 Justice David      Realtors Association
                                               The last proposed rule (by                                                  Prosser, Jr. submitted         (9/30/2008)
                                               Wisconsin Manufacturers and                                                 proposed revisions to rule     Petition by WMC
                                               Commerce (“WMC”)) provides that                                             petitions 08-25 and 09-10      (10/16/2009)
                                               a judge shall not be disqualified                                            12/7/2009 Supreme            Brennan Center Letter
                                               solely because of a party’s                                                 Court withdraws October        to Wisconsin Supreme
                                               independent expenditures.                                                   28 vote                        Court (10/9/2009)
                                                                                                                                                          Related Press:
                                                                                                                            10/28/2009: A public
                                                                                                                                                          Milwaukee Journal
                                                                                                                           hearing was held.
                                                                                                                                                          Sentinel (1/18/2010);
                                                                                                                           Following the hearing, the
                                                                                                                                                          State Bar of Wisconsin
                                                                                                                           Supreme Court voted 4-3
                                                                                                                                                          (12/9/2009);
                                                                                                                           to grant the petitions filed
                                                                                                                                                          Milwaukee Journal
                                                                                                                           by the Realtors Association
                                                                                                                                                          Sentinel (10/28/2009)
                                                                                                                           and WMC, and to deny the
                                                                                                                                                          Milwaukee Journal
                                                                                                                           remaining two petitions.
                                                                                                                                                          Sentinel (editorial)
                                                                                                                                                          (10/20/2009)
                                                                                                                                                          Milwaukee Journal
                                                                                                                                                          Sentinel (10/16/2009)

								
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