“Since the 1960s, the federal and state judges have been increasingly subject to some form of oversight and disciplinary controls. Concern over the need for more effective mechanisms for judicial oversight led states int he 1960s and 1970s to establish judicial commissions to receive and review complaints regarding judicial misconduct. Beginning with California in 1960, followed by Ohio and Texas in 1965, by 1979 all but one state had created such a commission. (In 1988 Arkansas adopted its Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission by constitutional amendment.). Some states (Alabama Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wisconsin) have established two or three agencies to deal separately with the review, investigation, and prosecution of complaints, the adjudication and application of sanctions, and finally appeals. Some commissions, such as the California Commission on Judicial Conduct, are empowered to impose sanctions, including removal. Others, such as Louisiana and Washington State, may only recommend sanctions for some other agency, typically the state supreme court to impose.”

Source: John O. Haley. “The Civil, Criminal and Disciplinary Liability of Judges.” The American Journal of Comparative Law 54 (2006): 281-291.

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