Diversity Bill Proposed for R.I. Judicial Nominating Commission

The Providence Journal reports that a bill outlining diversity requirements for the membership of Rhode Island’s Judicial Nominating Commission was submitted last week.

The measure, proposed by Democratic state Rep. Anastasia Williams, would require that the governor and lawmakers ensure that the membership reflects the gender and ethnic makeup of the state. According to the newspaper, “The nine-member panel currently has one member of color, Cheryl S. Haynes, a human resources executive with RBS Citizens Financial Group.”

Under current law, the governor selects four of the members, and the House Speaker, two. The Senate Majority leader and the Senate and House Minority leaders each get a pick.

The bill also details that when the JNC sends a list of judge finalists to the governor, it “shall include a person of color.”