Judicial board leader seeks to add new position

For the first time in a few years, all positions on the ASWSU’s judicial board have been filled and the chief justice is trying to add another position to the judicial branch.

ASWSU’s judicial board exists to enforce and clarify the association’s constitution and bylaws.

At the Senate’s Sept. 21 meeting, members confirmed Bailey Fillinger to the board, filling the last position.

Justice Dalvin Williams-Yarbrough said the judicial board has been incomplete because of a lack of nominees. With only six justices, the chief justice would choose to recuse herself to avoid a possible split opinion, Williams-Yarbrough said.

Chief Justice Eden Kelshaw wants to add the position of court clerk. Currently, one of the justices, often the chief justice, records the minutes during the board’s meetings. The court clerk would instead take on this responsibility, among other duties, Kelshaw said. The clerk would not be an official voting member of the board, but would be present at all meetings, she said.

“(A court clerk) would make a huge difference in the way our hearings run,” she said. “It is so hard to take accurate minutes and pay attention to the case.”

Kelshaw said it is more important for the judicial board justices to spend their time making decisions than taking minutes.

The Senate must approve the addition of a court clerk before the position opens for applications. The Senate’s next meeting is today at 5:30 p.m. in CUB 204.

This year’s judicial board has held an interpretation hearing, audited the bylaws and considered ideas for making the bylaws available for more people to view.

Kelshaw said most of the board’s responsibilities involve handling unexpected problems. She said it is important to understand the role of the judicial board as a group that supports the other two branches and serves to handle conflict.

Kelshaw herself is responsible for mediating problems between ASWSU staff members.

“The chief justice is really supposed to be the stepping stone for conflicts,” she said.

Kelshaw also attends Senate meetings to provide constitutional opinions and make sure bylaws are correctly interpreted.

Williams-Yarbrough said in order for the judicial board to be successful in the future, they must keep communicating with the executive and legislative branches to make sure they provide quality nominees for open positions.

The board needs people who will stick to their word, stay involved and show initiative, he said.