Judicial selection in Connecticut

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Judicial selection in the states
Judicial selection in Connecticut
Seal of Connecticut.png
Connecticut Supreme Court
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt., legislative confirmation
Term:   8 years
Connecticut Appellate Court
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt., legislative confirmation
Term:   8 years
Connecticut Superior Court
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt., legislative confirmation
Term:   8 years
Connecticut Probate Courts
Method:   Partisan elections
Term:   4 years

There are 7 judgeships on the supreme court, 9 on the appellate court and 170 on the superior court. These judges are selected by commission-selection and political appointment method. A judicial selection commission recommends potential judicial candidates to the Governor. After a judicial candidate is nominated by the Governor, they must be confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly. The geographic basis for selection is statewide.[1]

Appointed term duration

Justices appointed to the supreme, appellate and superior courts serve for a term of 8 years. When their term expires they may be renominated to serve additional terms by the Governor. However, the General Assembly must also vote to confirm their nomination.[1]


In order to serve on the Connecticut Supreme Court, Connecticut Appellate Court or the Connecticut Superior Court, one must be:

  • a resident of the state
  • licensed to practice law in the state
  • under the age of 70[1]

Judicial selection commission

The purpose of the commission is evaluate, investigate and recommend judicial candidates who are qualified to be considered by the Governor for nomination to the superior court, appellate court and supreme court.

The Commission is composed of twelve members. Two members are appointed from each congressional district, one lawyer and one non-lawyer. Lawyer members are appointed by the governor, while non-lawyer members are appointed by legislative officials such as the president pro tem of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the majority and minority leaders of the house and senate. It is mandatory that no more than six commission members belong to the same political party. Commission members serve three-year terms and cannot be elected or appointed state officials or hold a statewide office.[2]

Probate court

Judges of the Connecticut Probate Courts are the only judges in the state to be chosen in partisan elections. They serve four-year terms.[3]

In order to serve on the probate court, one must be:

  • a resident of the probate district
  • between the ages of 18 and 70.[4]

Mandatory retirement

All judges in the state face mandatory retirement when they reach the age of 70. However, after reaching 70, a justice or judge may continue to serve as a judge trial referee (also known as a state referee) for the rest of their life. However, they must be renominated and reappointed to serve in this capacity, and they must continue to meet certain conditions.[5]

A Connecticut judge's pension equals two-thirds of their salary, if they work until age 70. Judges must retire by the age of 70, but there is no requirement on how long they must work before they are eligible for retirement.[6] A judge who serves for three years and then retires receives the same pension as a judge who works for twenty years prior to retirement.

Retired judges are allowed to collect their pension, in addition to a per diem amount for each day they serve as a judge trial referee. In addition, like all judges in Connecticut, retired judges are also reimbursed mileage for the costs they incur to commute to and from the court.[6]

See also

External links