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Utah Nixes Diversity Requirement For Judges

A nod toward increasing diversity among state court judges in Utah will be removed from the judicial application after state lawmakers declared that gender and racial disparities shouldn't be a factor in how judges are selected.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the panel that picks judges relented and agreed to remove a line saying candidates' backgrounds can be considered if all their qualifications are equal.

Republican Rep. Merrill Nelson of Grantsville says that according to state law, judges should be picked based only on their fitness for the office.

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Nelson was passed over for a judgeship in the 1990s, but said that wasn't a factor in his position.

Nearly three-quarters of judges in Utah are male, and 97 percent are white.