Wisconsin Senators Reconfigure Federal Nominating Commission

April 19, 2013

Senators Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D) have agreed to a restructuring of the commission that has been used in Wisconsin since 1979 to advise senators in recommending potential candidates for federal judge and prosecutor vacancies in the state. In the past when senators have been of different parties, the senator of the president's party has appointed five members of the eight-member commission, but Senators Johnson and Baldwin have agreed to share the appointment authority equally, with each appointing three to a six-member commission. The commission, which is composed solely of attorneys, will recommend four to six candidates to the senators for each vacancy. Similar commissions are used in twenty-two states, but Wisconsin is one of only a few states where the commission has a formal charter. Read more about these commissions in IAALS' Options for Federal Judicial Screening Committees, Second Edition.