Governor Locke cares deeply about the quality of the judiciary in the State of Washington, and takes the honor of making judicial appointments very seriously. He strives to improve the quality, efficiency, and image of our judiciary through his appointments. Judicial appointments have a significant impact on the citizens of Washington and those who do business in this state, and are a high priority for the Governor. He believes that the selection of experienced, well-qualified and wise judges is vital to maintaining not only an efficient judicial system, but a just democracy and vital economy.
A link to the judicial application questionnaire is located to the right under Related Links. The form is appropriate for appointments to the Superior Court, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Applications and letters of support should be submitted in care of the Governor's General Counsel, who is in charge of the Governor's evaluation and selection process, at the following address:
Jennifer Joly, General Counsel
Or by e-mail attachment to Barbara Goody at the Office of the Governor. (If you choose to submit an application electronically, be sure to send signed hard copies of the consent forms located at the end of the application.)
In order to ensure a broad base of well-qualified applicants, the Governor encourages all qualified individuals to submit their names for consideration, and asks county and specialty bar associations to seek out qualified members for consideration, and to develop and utilize judicial evaluation programs. Evaluations from the state, county and specialty bar associations help the Governor locate and evaluate the widest spectrum of candidates.
A central goal in the Governor's judicial evaluation and selection process is to gather as much information about each candidate from as many diverse sources as possible. Before filling a vacancy, the thoughts of the judges on the bench where the vacancy exists are always considered, together with input from bar and community leaders, and every available bar association evaluation or rating.
Every qualified candidate who submits an application is personally interviewed by the Governor's General Counsel, and finalists are interviewed by the Governor personally. The Governor's process for evaluating and selecting candidates can be lengthy, and every effort is made to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. However quality is never compromised for speed. In order to facilitate timely decision making, interested and qualified lawyers are encouraged to submit an application at any time - so that a ready pool of applications is on file when a vacancy opens.
Judges appointed by the Governor generally hold office until the next general election, at which time the people of the area they serve may vote to retain the appointed judge, or elect another candidate. While the Governor's appointees often are not challenged, any appointed judge must be well prepared to launch a vigorous campaign to retain the seat. See Related Links above for other pages concerning judicial appointments by the Governor.