Governor's role increases

Issue: A Senate bill would dismiss all current members the Judicial Nominating Commission and give the governor more control over the new membership. Where the governor now appoints three attorneys to serve on the commission, the governor would only have to name two, from a list of nominees supplied by the Utah Bar Association.History: Gov. Mike Leavitt, wanting more diversity on the bench, first proposed the change in an effort to balance the control the judiciary has over choosing new judges.

Action: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-0 Monday to pass the bill on to the full Senate for further debate.

Pros and cons: Opponents say giving the governor more control over appointments opens the process to undue political influence. Proponents say the current system gives the bar and judiciary too much political control.