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(Neb)-Judicial Vacancy Staying In O'Neill Despite Push To Wait For Study

By: John Axtell Posted at: 07/03/2017 10:31 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Panhandle wasn't the only part of the state to avoid losing a judgeship to urban Nebraska at last week's meeting of the state Judicial Resources Commission.

        While there was no formal opposition to keeping the seat of retired District Judge Randy Lippstreu in Scotts Bluff County, the state Court Administrator's office asked the Commission to postpone a decision on a vacancy in the 8th Judicial District in O'Neill.

    Deputy Administrator Jennifer Rasmussen told the members that a 6-month delay would give the office time to use grant funds to assess how best to serve the judicial needs of central Nebraska.

     Opponents of delay and moving the judgeship out of O'Neill then spent the next 2-plus hours telling the commission why both were bad ideas.

     In the end, the commissioners voted 10-3 to leave the judgeship in the district while also voicing support for a statewide study of judicial resources.
      As for the Panhandle judgeship, applications are being accepted from interested attorneys through the 28th of this month. Application packages are available from the Nebraska Judicial Branch website.

     The 12th Judicial District Nominating Commission has scheduled a public hearing to take testimony on all applications for August 18 at the Scotts Bluff County Courthouse in Gering. The public can present information for or against any candidate.

     After the public hearing, the Nominating Commission will send between 1 and 3 names to Governor Ricketts, who will appoint the new judge.

     The Nominating Commission is made up of 4 attorneys and 4 non-attorneys from across the district, which includes the 11 Panhandle counties plus Grant County in the Sandhills, but the state judicial branch website...last updated in February...lists the 4 lay positions as all being vacant.



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