Under the Maryland Constitution, the Governor fills a new judgeship or other vacancy in judicial office with an individual having certain basic qualifications. Although the Constitution sets forth these basic qualifications, it provides the Governor with limited guidance in making judicial appointments. In 1970, Governor Marvin Mandel issued an Executive Order creating the Judicial Nominating Commissions to assist in the judicial selection process. Since that time, every governor has issued a similar Executive Order. The primary responsibility of the Judicial Nominating Commissions has been to screen candidates for judicial office. This screening process allows the Governor to appoint the most highly qualified candidates.
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