Four of the last five governors have used judicial selection commissions to help them find and vet possible judges. Governor Sununu says relying on outside advice, from lawyers, businesspeople and law enforcement worked for his predecessors, and helps inspire public confidence in the court system.
"It’s as system that's worked very well, and to make sure you are not just putting your political friends in there. That's not the way we do things in NH, and so we thought the judicial selection commission was a great mechanism to ensure that type of transparency."
Sununu named former GOP Congressman and New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas chairman of the commission. Portsmouth lawyer Jack Sanders a democrat, who served on Governor Hassan's judicial selection commission,will be vice-chairman.
Right now, New Hampshire has three vacancies on its circuit court, 2 in Manchester, one in the North Country. More vacancies are expected over the next six months, when three other judges will turn 70, the state's constitutionally- required judicial retirement age.
Governor Sununu's first chance to name a Supreme Court Justice will likely come this summer when Justice Carol Ann Conboy is set to retire