RESOLUTION AFFIRMING SUPPORT FOR BECK COMMISSION PROPOSALS

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has, for many years, been committed to responsible reform in the operation of Pennsylvania's judicial system;

WHEREAS, in 1988, the Philadelphia Bar Association wholeheartedly endorsed the basic recommendations for reform contained in the report of the Governor's Judicial Reform Commission (Beck Commission);

WHEREAS, those recommendations for reform include institution of a system of merit-based selection of judges and abolition of the present judicial disciplinary system in favor of one composed of an investigatory body and an adjudicatory body required to conduct its proceedings publicly;

WHEREAS, since that time, the Association has from time to time endorsed and supported specific legislative proposals which incorporated some or all of the recommendations for reform promulgated by the Beck Commission;

WHEREAS, there are currently pending before the General Assembly several bills proposing amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution to reform the judicial discipline system, including S.B. 1000, H.B. 2491, and H.B. 2341;

WHEREAS, the Association remains committed to accomplishing reform of the judicial discipline system in a manner which, on the whole, is consistent with the recommendations of the Beck Commission;

WHEREAS, the bills currently pending before the General Assembly represent several variations on the Beck Commission's fundamental recommendations for reform of the judicial discipline system;

WHEREAS, of the bills currently pending before the General Assembly, S.B. 1000 would appear at this time to be the bill which has the greatest chance of enactment in some form this year;

WHEREAS, S.B. 1000, as passed the Senate, embodies the fundamental recommendations for reform of the judicial discipline system and provides for a fair division of appointing authority for the proposed Judicial Conduct Board and Court of Judicial Discipline;

WHEREAS, the House Judiciary Committee has amended S.B. 1000 to give more authority to the Supreme Court in appointing members of the Judicial Conduct Board and the Court of Judicial Discipline;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association reaffirms its support for the recommendations for reform promulgated by the Beck Commission;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports and endorses the proposal for reform set out in S.B. 1000, in the form as passed by the Senate (P.N. 2103);

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that. the Philadelphia Bar Association advocate enactment of the Bill in the form as passed by the Senate (P.N. 2103);

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, if it is not possible to secure enactment of the Bill as passed by the Senate, that the Association continue to support S.B. 1000 or any other legislative proposal which, in the opinion of the Chancellor, is consistent with the fundamental recommendations of the Beck Commission;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor shall take whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to that end, including communicating the Association's position, through the Legislative Liaison Committee or any other appropriate means, to the members of the General Assembly.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 28, 1992