CITIZENS FOR BETTER JUDGES 

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY 

BY-LAWS 

 

1. The purpose of the Citizens for Better Judges (“CBJ”) shall be set forth in the  document entitled “Statement of Purpose” dated January 6, 1983, as amended by a  two-thirds vote of all members of CBJ on September 28, 1995, and appended to these  By-Laws, and as from time to time amended by the Steering Committee. CBJ is  registered as a Permanent Committee with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance,  and shall comply with all statutes, rules and regulations pertaining to the operation and  activities of registered Permanent Committee. CBJ is independent from, and shall  conduct itself at all times in a manner independent from, all judicial candidates,  including any judicial candidates who might be endorsed by it. CBJ will not be swayed,  nor influenced, nor in any manner controlled or directed by any judicial candidates,  including any judicial candidates endorsed by it. The interview of candidates by CBJ,  and informing the candidates of CBJ’s endorsement decisions, shall not constitute a  communication with the campaign of any judicial candidate within the meaning of KRS  121.150(1). CBJ shall not in any way communicate with any judicial candidate  regarding its decisions on its independent expenditures. It is the intent and purpose of  CBJ in its expenditures at all times to have those expenditures constitute “independent  expenditures” as contemplated by KRS 121.150 and by applicable case law.

2. The business and affairs of CBJ shall be conducted by a Steering Committee  which shall consist of thirty (30) practicing attorneys who have agreed to abide by  these By-Laws. 

3. Except as otherwise specified in these By-Laws, all motions, resolutions, or  actions adopted or taken by the Steering Committee shall be by majority vote of those  members present and voting at a meeting of the Steering Committee at which a  quorum is present. 

4. A quorum at any meeting of the Steering Committee shall be eleven (11). 5. Meetings of the Steering Committee shall be at the call of the Chair, or at the  call in writing of one-third (1/3) of the number of members then serving on the Steering  Committee. Prior notice of all meetings of the Steering Committee shall be given at  such time and by such means as shall be reasonable under the circumstances. Regular  meetings of the Steering Committee set by resolution of the Steering Committee may  be held without specific notice. If a vote of the Steering Committee is required and  exceptional circumstances make it impractical to convene a meeting of the Steering  Committee, then upon agreement of a majority of the members of the Executive  Committee (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer), a vote of the Steering  Committee may be conducted by facsimile ballots sent to all members then serving on  the Steering Committee. 

6. The thirty (30) members of the Steering Committee shall be divided by lot  into three (3) classes of ten (10) members each. Members of the first, second and  third classes shall serve for periods of one (1) year, two (2) years, and three (3) years,  

respectively, or until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified. As the terms  of the respective classes expire, their successors shall be selected by two-thirds vote of  the remaining members whose terms have not expired present and voting at a special  meeting called for that purpose. 

7. A member of the Steering Committee who has served a full three-year term  shall not be eligible for re-election to the Steering Committee until he/she has been off  the Steering Committee for a period of at least one calendar year; provided, however,  that officers may continue to serve on the Steering Committee beyond their third year. 

8. A member of Citizens for Better Judges may resign at any time. However, if  such resignation occurs after the commencement of candidate interviews in an election  year, the resignation will be deemed permanent and the member shall not be eligible to  serve on Citizens for Better Judges in any capacity in the future unless the resignation is  prompted by documented, extraordinary circumstances beyond the member’s control.  

A member may be removed for good cause by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of  the committee members then serving on the Steering Committee.  

If a member of the Advisory Board, Attorney Steering Committee, or Citizens  Review Board desires a leave of absence for a period of one year only, he or she may  so request in writing. Such written request shall be submitted to the Chair of the  Advisory Board sufficiently in advance of the commencement of interviews to allow a  reasonable time for the Advisory Board to either convene or take a poll in order to act  on the request. 

If the request is granted, the requesting member will in no way be a part of, or  participate in, Citizens for Better Judges for that year, nor will his or her name be  published or in any way connected with Citizens for Better Judges or its endorsements. 

If the requesting member is a member of the Attorney Steering Committee, the  year will count as part of his or her three-year term. The Steering Committee may, by  a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members then serving, fill the vacancy (ies) for the  one-year leave of absence. If the requesting member is a member of the Advisory  Board or the Citizens Review Board, he or she may be reinstated at the end of one year  and shall be reinstated unless the Advisory Board finds good cause not to do so. 

Further, if any member of the Advisory Board, the Attorney Steering Committee  or the Citizens Review Board, at any time after the interview process has commenced,  requests that his or her name be removed from or not included in the publication of any  CBJ endorsement, the Advisory Board may grant that request. However, if such  request is granted, that member shall be immediately removed from Citizens for Better  Judges and will not be eligible to serve on Citizens for Better Judges in any capacity in  the future. 

9. The Steering Committee shall at all times be representative of a cross-section  of the litigation Bar. 

10. CBJ members may publicly endorse and support only those judicial  candidates who have received CBJ’s current endorsement in judicial election contests in  which CBJ conducts interviews and endorses a candidate or candidates, or declines to  make an endorsement. However, other than through CBJ, such public endorsement or 

support may not include financial contributions to, or service on, a campaign committee  or other organization associated with a candidate for judicial office. 11. Any member of the Advisory Board, the Attorney Steering Committee, or the  Citizens Review Board who has a current or recently past (within the last twelve  months) office association with any candidate is to disclose same prior to the  commencement of interviews in the race in which the member’s current or recently past  associate is involved. This specifically includes office associations in both the public and  private sectors. Additionally, any member having any personal or professional  relationship or connection, other than an office association, with any candidate shall  disclose same if the nature of that relationship or connection is such that it might  appear improper for the member to participate in the interview and/or endorsement  process with regard to that candidate’s race. 

Upon disclosure of or finding by the Attorney Steering Committee of an  association, relationship, or connection as described above, the member shall be  precluded from attending any interviews and the endorsement meeting for that  particular race. However, that member may fully participate in the process with regard  to all other races. 

Any member precluded from interviews and the endorsement meeting in any  race or races hereby, may make a brief statement concerning the qualifications of the  candidates in each such race prior to leaving the room at the endorsement meeting.  The Attorney Steering Committee may request that the absent member return to the  room during the endorsement procedure in that particular race, but only to answer 

specific questions that the Attorney Steering Committee may wish to ask that member  about the candidates’ qualifications as they relate to the criteria for endorsement.  12. CBJ shall not accept contributions from or on behalf of any person who is a  candidate in a judicial election in which CBJ has decided to select a candidate or  candidates for support or endorsement. 

13. CBJ shall not publish or use the name of any member in any advertisement,  promotional material, or endorsement without the prior written approval of the  member. 

14. The Steering Committee may by resolution establish such other committees  as it deems necessary or desirable and provide for the membership, powers, or duties  of any such committee. All committees shall be filled by appointment of the Chair. 

15. No member of or committee of CBJ shall take any action in the name of CBJ  except as authorized by the Steering Committee. 

16. The officers of the Steering Committee shall be a Chair, a Vice Chair, and a  Secretary-Treasurer who shall be elected by the Steering Committee for such terms as  the Steering Committee shall provide. The Steering Committee may establish other  offices as it deems necessary and provide for the manner of election and terms thereof. 

17. Expenditures of all CBJ funds shall be authorized by the Steering Committee  by specific items, general budget, or other means specified by resolution of the Steering  Committee. 

18. The Steering Committee shall establish a Citizens Review Board. The  Citizens Review Board shall be composed of those citizens and community leaders who 

are representative of the civilian and business population of Jefferson County. The  members of the Citizens Review Board shall be non-voting members of the Steering  Committee. Meetings of the Citizens Review Board shall be called by the Chair of the  Steering Committee or the Chair of that Citizens Review Board. 

19. An Advisory Board to the CBJ organization shall be established by the  Steering Committee and shall consist of all past chairpersons of the Steering  Committee, the current Chair of the Citizens Review Board and three (3) at-large  members to be elected by the Steering Committee each year. The immediate past  Chair of the Attorneys Steering Committee shall serve as Chair of the Advisory Board.  The Advisory Board shall act in an oversight capacity to lend continuity to the  organization in preparing for judicial vacancies and in facilitating the annual transition of  members and officers of the Steering Committee by making recommendations to the  Steering Committee of new members to fill expiring terms. In addition, the Advisory  Board shall function as a long-range planning committee to develop the future direction  and goals of the organization. Meetings of the Advisory Board shall be at the call of the  Steering Committee Chair, or at the call in writing of one-third (1/3) of the number of  members then serving on the Advisory Board. 

20. A Citizens and Lawyers Support Group shall be established by the Steering  Committee to expand and advance the purpose of the Citizens for Better Judges  organization. Any citizen or lawyer who supports the mission and goals enunciated in  CBJ’s “Statement of Purpose” (appended to these By-Laws) shall be eligible for inclusion  in the Citizens and Lawyers Support Group upon meeting the following conditions: (a)  Payment of an annual contribution to CBJ in an amount ranging from a minimum of  $100 up to a maximum of $250; and (b) execution of a signed agreement and pledge  to abide by CBJ’s By-Laws in all respects, including the withholding of any form of  support for local judicial candidates until CBJ completes its endorsement process, at  which time Support Group members shall support only those candidates endorsed by  CBJ. It is expressly understood that, while Support Group members back, believe in  and approve of the CBJ interview and endorsement process, they will not be allowed to  attend interviews or endorsement sessions, and their names will not be listed in CBJ  endorsement advertisements or on CBJ’s Web site, unless, in the latter case, the  Steering Committee so chooses. Further, they shall comply with the CBJ Policy  Resolution concerning third party communications regarding judicial candidates.  Finally, neither judicial candidates nor anyone having a current business of familial  relationship with a judicial candidate shall be eligible to join the Citizens and Lawyers  Support Group. 

21. Judicial candidates shall be selected for CBJ endorsement or support in  accordance with the procedure established by the Steering Committee that is set forth  in the document entitled “Endorsement Procedure”; provided that any candidate shall  be endorsed by CBJ only upon the vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the Steering  Committee members present and voting at a meeting called for that specific purpose;  further provided, that no candidate shall be endorsed by CBJ who has not received the  affirmative votes of at least eleven (11) members. Successive ballots may be taken as  to endorsement of a candidate, at a single or successive meetings, until the Steering 

Committee reaches an endorsement by three-fourths (3/4) vote, or by vote of two thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting declares that no endorsement will be  made in a particular contest. The endorsements of the Steering Committee shall be  submitted to the Citizens Review Board for approval. Successive ballots may be taken  by the Citizens Review Board for approval of any submitted endorsement. In the event  that the Citizens Review Board shall fail to approve an endorsement, the Steering  Committee may, by the procedure set forth above, submit the same or another  endorsement to the Citizens Review Board for its approval; provided, however, that the  Steering Committee may not submit to the Citizens Review Board an endorsement of a  candidate whom the Citizens Review Board has declined to approve on three occasions.  Upon approval by a majority of the members of the Citizens Review Board present and  voting at a meeting called for that purpose, the submitted endorsements shall become  the official endorsements of CBJ. 

22. All proceedings relating to the interview and endorsement of judicial  candidates by CBJ shall be conducted in complete confidence in order to promote  candor in the process and ensure full and fair consideration and assessment of the candidates’ qualifications for office. A commitment to such confidentiality is pledged by  each member of the organization and, in turn, to each of the candidates seeking CBJ’s  endorsement. After notice and an opportunity to be heard, any member of the  Advisory Board, the Attorney Steering Committee, or the Citizens Review Board shall be  removed immediately from Citizens for Better Judges upon a majority vote of a duly  convened meeting of the Advisory Board finding probable cause that the member 

breached the confidentiality of any communications made during, or in connection with,  either the interview or endorsement process of Citizens for Better Judges. Any member  removed under such circumstances shall not be eligible, in the future, to serve on  Citizens for Better Judges in any capacity. 

23. Except in extraordinary circumstances, any judicial candidate endorsed or  supported by CBJ in a judicial primary election shall also be so endorsed or supported in  the ensuing general election, provided that the candidate qualifies for candidacy in the  general election. 

24. Any action required to be taken at a meeting of CBJ, by the Steering  Committee or any authorized Committee thereof, may be taken upon the prior written  consent of all those persons entitled to vote on the action. NO proxies shall be  permitted at any meeting. 

25. CBJ may be dissolved by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members then  serving at a meeting called for that specific purpose. Upon the resignation or  withdrawal of two-thirds (2/3) of the members then serving, CBJ shall be deemed  dissolved. Upon dissolution, after payment of all debts and obligations, any funds  remaining shall be distributed in accordance with CBJ’s “Statement of Purpose”. 

26. These By-Laws are binding upon each member as to the organization and  management of CBJ. The Steering Committee may provide for the enactment of rules,  regulations or procedures implementing these By-Laws and the appended Statement of  Purpose. These By-Laws and the appended Statement of Purpose and Endorsement 

Procedure may be amended by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members then serving  at a meeting called for that specific purpose. 

 

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Dated this 6th day of January, 1983, as amended April 6, 1985; April 12, 1986;  March 24, 1990; September 28, 1995; February 20, 1998; February 28, 2002; March  16, 2005; and March 3, 2006.