All vacancies in the office of judge of the circuit court and the office of judge of the district court holding in Lauderdale County shall be filled in the manner and for the time as herein provided.
The Lauderdale County Judicial Commission is created for the purpose of nominating to the Governor persons for appointment to a vacancy. The commission shall be composed of five members, two of whom shall be appointed by the members of the bar residing in the county, two shall be appointed by the members of the county commission, and one, who shall be the chair, shall be appointed by the Chief Justice or the Acting Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
All members of the commission shall reside in the territorial jurisdiction of the circuit court holding in Lauderdale County.
The Lauderdale County Bar Association, the Lauderdale County Commission, and the Chief Justice or Acting Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court shall each certify in writing to the Judge of Probate of Lauderdale County the names of the persons selected as members of the commission.
The terms of office of all members of the commission shall be six years. In the event that an initial appointment or vacancy of a member of the commission is not filled in 30 days, the appointment or vacancy shall be filled by the Chief Justice or Acting Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court within 10 days. A vacancy in the office of a member of the commission shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the member was originally chosen.
The Judge of Probate of Lauderdale County shall record all certificates of election and shall safely and permanently keep the original certificates. Forthwith upon his or her receipt and recordation of every certificate, the judge of probate shall send to the Governor a certified copy of every certificate.
No member of the commission shall be eligible for nomination to the Governor for appointment as judge of the circuit court or the district court during the term of office of the commission member.
The members of the commission shall not receive any salary or other compensation for their services as members. No member of the commission shall hold any public office, and no member of the commission shall hold any official position in any political party.
If a vacancy occurs in the office of judge of the circuit court or the office of judge of the district court holding in Lauderdale County, the commission shall nominate within 30 days to the Governor three persons having the qualifications for the office. If the commission fails to nominate three names during the 30-day period, the names shall be selected by the Chief Justice or Acting Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court within 10 days. The names of all persons considered for nomination shall be available for review by the public and shall be deemed a public record. The Governor shall appoint to the office in which the vacancy exists one of the three persons so nominated for the office. If the Governor fails to make an appointment from the list within 30 days from the date it is presented to the Governor, the appointment shall be made by the Chief Justice or the Acting Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from the same list. The appointee shall hold the office until the next general election for any state officer held at least six months after the vacancy occurs and until a successor is elected and qualified. At the general election, the judicial office shall be filled for a full term of office to commence on the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January following the general election.