IJEQCIndependent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions
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In 2006, as Lopez Torres was winding its way to the Supreme Court, (78) Chief Judge of New York Judith Kaye and the four presiding justices of the appellate divisions, acting as the Administrative Board of the Courts, adopted court rules establishing a system of "Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions" ("IJEQCs") for New York State.
Building on these studies, in 2004, the Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections ("Feerick Commission") issued a report recommending the independent pre-screening of judicial candidates "as a fair, credible, and realistic plan to promote confidence in judicial elections." (29) Specifically, the Feerick Commission called for the development of Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) in each judicial district.
In the wake of the Feerick Commission's recommendation that IJEQCs be established in each judicial district, then-Chief Judge Judith Kaye and then-Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman established screening panels for candidates for the Supreme Court (New York's general jurisdiction trial court) and other elected judgeships in January 2007.