New Hampshire Eyes Measure To Hold Courts Accountable

Sunday, 04 Nov 2012 04:35 PM

By Katie Lotman and Patrick Hobin

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New Hampshire will vote on a ballot measure on Tuesday that would allow the chief justice of the state supreme court to be administrative head of all the courts.

Under the measure, called Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 26, proponents say the public can hold the courts accountable. The legislature would hold concurrent power with the Supreme Court to write court rules and if there is a conflict, the legislative statute would prevail.

According to the Union Leader, “The amendment would essentially undo a 1978 constitutional amendment passed by voters giving the Supreme Court authority to write rules governing the administration of all the courts in the state and their practices and procedures.”

The proposal, Foster’s Daily Democrat argued, “is an attempt by House Speaker Bill O’Brien’s wing of the state Legislature to put a hand in the justice system’s cookie jar.”

The paper said the measure “follows on the heels of the establishment of a House Committee on the Redress of Grievances which was set up to do an end run around the courts.”

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