The Associated Students 69th Senate voted to postpone the Judicial Council chair appointment of Justin Nilsen for the second week in a row early Thursday morning.

The Wednesday senate meeting stretched into the early hours of Thursday. Riley Esguerra / Daily Nexus 

This time, however, the Senate agreed to discuss the creation of a Senate committee that would play an active role in looking over the 35+ Council applications that are currently waiting to be reviewed.

Because the Senate did not have the power to formally create a committee during the Wednesday meeting, they agreed to meet before next week’s Senate meeting to sketch out the parameters of the committee at a time to be determined.

The Senate took their first vote on Nilsen’s appointment without discussion; the vote ended at 12-11-1.

Throughout the night, the Senate reconsidered the vote twice, with heavy discussion in between, before the motion to table it for next week.

The original vote and the reconsiderations of the vote continued to be split across party lines, with Proxy Luvia Solis abstaining from the vote.

The Senate will resume proceedings during its Oct. 17 meeting.

A.S. President Brooke Kopel initially nominated Nilsen, former solicitor general for the attorney general’s office, to fill the Council chair position during the Oct. 3 Senate meeting.

However, senators tabled the vote during the Oct. 3 meeting because they wanted the opportunity to question Nilsen before approving his appointment.

On Wednesday, the senators focused their questions on Nilsen’s ability to be non-partisan and unbiased, particularly regarding his affiliation with Kopel.

The two were on the UCSB mock trial team together during Nilsen’s freshman year, although Kopel stated during the meeting that their former relationship was that of a working one and not a personal one.

If appointed, Nilsen would play a role in determining whether or not Kopel and fellow CU candidates remain in their positions.

Nilsen maintained during questioning that he has no conflicts of interest that would prevent him from carrying out the duties of the position.

Senators argued for over three hours about the Council chair appointment. Riley Esguerra / Daily Nexus

The Council acts as the “Supreme Court” of A.S. by ruling on student cases. It is made up of one chairman and four members, according to its website.

The position of chairman and three of the member seats are empty following last year’s graduation, leaving only history of public policy and political science double major Raymond Alonso on the Council.

As it is currently unable to meet quorum, the Council’s active orders remain in stasis.

If Nilsen is approved, Kopel must appoint at least one more member for the Council to begin hearing cases again.

Committee on Committees (COC) External Chair Jessica Gerwin said at the meeting that the COC is planning on a thorough review process for the positions.

“We recognize that there are steps [in the past] that were not implemented in an orderly manner,” Gerwin said.


Sanya Kamidi
Sanya Kamidi serves as the Deputy News Editor and before that was a Social Media Manager. Loves coffee and will find any excuse to miss class for the Nexus. She can be reached at or @skamidi on Twitter.
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