amendment 3 | WABE 90.1 FM

amendment 3

Georgia Voters Approve Amendment Three

Nov 8, 2016
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia voters approved an amendment to dismantle the state's independent judicial watchdog agency, letting state lawmakers recreate the agency and exert control over it.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission was created in 1972 to investigate and resolve complaints of ethical misconduct by judges. In the past decade, the commission's actions have resulted in more than 60 judges leaving the bench. They include judges accused of sexual harassment and one who pointed a gun at people in court.

Damon Peebles

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Elly Yu

Two new political allies have spent the past few days traveling around Georgia to oppose Amendment Three on next week's ballot.

The constitutional amendment, if passed, would allow the state legislature to recreate the state agency that investigates judicial ethics complaints, also known as the Judicial Qualifications Commission. 

State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, has teamed up with Lester Tate, a Democrat and former chairman of the commission to campaign against the measure. 

David Goldman / Associated Press

The key lawmaker behind a plan on November's ballot to overhaul the state's judicial watchdog agency says he hopes people will approve it even if they don't know much about it.

Amendment 3 on November’s ballot would allow the state Legislature to recreate the Judicial Qualifications Commission – the agency that investigates ethics and misconduct complaints against state judges.

'This American Life' Delves Into Georgia’s Amendment 3

Oct 26, 2016
Georgia Supreme Court building
Nick Nesmith / WABE

Editor's note: The audio on this post contains language not suitable for all ages.

Georgia voters will decide on Nov. 8 whether they want to change the makeup of the Judicial Qualifications Commission,  the agency that investigates ethics complaints against Georgia judges.

State lawmakers would get to appoint the majority of the seven-member board if the amendment passes. Currently, they appoint none. The board members serving now were appointed by the State Bar Association, the state Supreme Court and the governor.