Minority & Justice Commission
Administrative Office of the Courts
Post Office Box 41170
Olympia, WA 98504-1170
Phone: (360) 705-5327
Fax: (360) 956-5700 AOCMIN/JUS@courts.wa.gov
Working to identify and to eradicate the effects of racial, ethnic, and cultural bias in our state court system
On October 4, 1990, the Supreme Court established the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission to identify problems and make recommendations to ensure fair and equal treatment in the state courts for all parties, attorneys, court employees and other persons. The Commission was created (1) to examine all levels of the state judicial system in order to particularly ensure judicial awareness of issues affecting persons of color in the judicial system in order to achieve a better quality of justice; and (2) to make recommendations for improvement to the extent it is needed.
1.1 The Minority and Justice Commission is charged with determining whether racial and ethnic bias exists in the courts of the State of Washington and to the extent that bias exists, taking creative steps to overcome it. To the extent that such bias does not exist, the Commission takes creative steps to prevent it.
2.1 The Minority and Justice Commission is co-chaired by a Supreme Court Justice, designated by the Chief Justice.
2.2 The other co-chair is a Member Chair of the Commission, who shall be elected from the twenty-one (21) Commission members by a majority either when the Commission is renewed by order of the Supreme Court or upon resignation of the Member Chair (Co-chair).
2.3 The Commission shall consist of twenty-one (21) members, appointed by the Supreme Court, representing an approximate mix of judges of all levels of court, members of the legal system and private citizens of the State of Washington. Members should be chosen to assure racial, ethnic, gender, cultural and geographic diversity.
2.4 All appointments of the twenty-one (21) members shall be for a four (4) year renewable term. Vacancies shall be filled by the Supreme Court upon recommendations made by Commission.
2.5 Technical Support members may be appointed at any time by the Commission co-chair(s) and may be asked to continue at the end of each calendar year.
3.1 The Executive Committee shall consist of the Commission co-chair(s) and chair(s) of each standing committee.
3.2 The Commission co-chair(s) shall appoint such standing committees as the work of the Commission shall reasonably require.
3.3 The Commission co-chair(s) shall appoint a chair for each standing committee, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair(s).
Ad Hoc Committees
4.1 The Chair(s) may appoint such ad hoc committees as the work of the Commission shall from time to time require. The Chair(s) shall appoint a chair for such ad hoc committees from among the Commission members, but may staff these committees with non-Commission members, with the advice and consent of a majority of the quorum present when such appointments are made.
5.1 A quorum shall consist of fifty (50) percent plus one or more of the twenty-one (21) Commission members. Vacancies shall not be considered. A member participating in a meeting by teleconference, video conference, or other electronic means approved by the Commission shall be counted in the determination of the quorum.
5.2 Commission action shall be by majority vote of the twenty-one (21) Commission members present or participating by teleconference, video conference, or other electronic means approved by the Commission, so long as a quorum is present.
5.3 In the absence of a quorum at a regularly scheduled meeting, the Executive Committee may take contingent action on business the Chair(s) determine to require action by the Commission prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.
5.4 No proxy voting shall be allowed.
6.1 The executive director of the Commission shall serve as recording secretary for the Commission.
6.2 Commission meetings shall be held at least four (4) times a year. Additional meetings may be scheduled or specially called at the discretion of the Chair(s). Reasonable notice shall be given to each member. Participation in meetings of the Commission may be held by teleconference, video conference, or other electronic means approved by the Commission.
7.1 In addition to such funding as shall be available through the AOC budgeting process, the Commission is authorized to seek and accept funding through appropriate processes and from appropriate sources to carry out Commission projects and purposes. Any funds so obtained shall be administered under proper auditing controls by AOC.
Amendments to Bylaws
8.1 These bylaws may be amended or modified at any regular or special Commission meeting, at which a quorum is present, by majority vote. No motion or resolution for amendment may be considered at the meeting in which it is proposed.