Judicial Nominating Commission Would Continue to Play Role
The bill would have local judges in the D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals (the equivalent of our local state supreme court) nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council, instead of appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, where District citizens have no elected representatives. The Mayor would select his nominee, as does the President now, from among those recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission.
The ACLU letter notes:
For too long, residents of the District of Columbia have been wards of the federal government. Either we believe in their capacity and right to govern themselves or we don't. The choice is that stark.
The letter also quotes the Council on Court Excellence:
[T]he desirability of having judges seleted and confirmed by officials elected by the people who are subject to the judicial power cannot be overestimated. In a real sense, the citizens' confidence in the judiciary will be be greated if the selection power is exercised and confirmed by officials elected by and responsible to the people who inhabit the District. Citizen confidence in the judiciary is a vital part of the foundation of a democratic government, and in this case, fortifies the conclusion that the judicial-selection process for local judges ought to be exercised by locally-elected officials.