Like a weekend duffer, even the Utah Supreme Court needs a mulligan now and then. To their credit, the justices last week overturned an earlier ruling that had removed legislators from serving on the Judicial Conduct Commission.

The commission recommends discipline for errant judges to the state's high court. It was forged as part of a 1984 revision of the judicial article of the Utah Constitution, a compromise between the three branches of state government to provide a means of dealing with errant judges short of impeachment.But last summer, a controversial Supreme Court decision removed four legislators from the 10-member body, which also includes three members of the State Bar Commission, two non-lawyers named by the governor and one judge. Justices said legislators' involvement was an unconstitutional intrusion into the judiciary that violated the separation of powers clause.

The ruling came after the commission had recommended a public reprimand for controversial 3rd District Judge David S. Young. The judge and his attorney, Dan Berman, claimed the oversight process was flawed. The court agreed.

Legislators were incensed and threatened retaliatory action this session, some accusing the judiciary of a blatant power grab. The saber rattling included threats of streamlining the impeachment process and going after specific judges. Now, those and other weapons of war should be peacefully put to rest.

Exemplifying wisdom and a dose of humility, the high court acknowledged, by a vote of 4-1, "mishitting" the first ruling and took corrective action last week. It admitted a failure to consider, in its original opinion, the historic background that led to the formation of the Judicial Conduct Commission. And it recognized that the commission is only advisory, leaving the power to discipline judges in the hands of the Supreme Court.

There really is, therefore, no separation-of-powers conflict. The scales of oversight and influence appear to have been properly balanced.

The Legislature expressed collective surprise and delight at the reversal. The court is to be commended for reconsidering the matter and having the courage to reissue an opinion that obviously is in everyone's best interest.

Taking a mulligan now and then happens to the best of professionals. Doing so only enhances the credibility of Utah's Supreme Court and its distinguished justices.