Judicial selection in Louisiana

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Judicial selection in the states
Judicial selection in Louisiana
Seal of Louisiana.png
Louisiana Supreme Court
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   10 years
Louisiana Courts of Appeal
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   10 years
Louisiana District Courts
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   6 years
Louisiana Family Courts
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   6 years
Louisiana Juvenile Courts
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   6 years
Louisiana Justice of the Peace Courts
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   4 years

Judicial selection in Louisiana occurs through the partisan election of judges.

Supreme Court

The seven justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court are elected to serve ten year terms.

If a midterm vacancy occurs, the vacancy is filled by Supreme Court appointment. However, within one year of the opening, a special election is held to fill the seat. If the Supreme Court has appointed a successor, that judge may not run for the seat in the special election.

The chief justice is the justice on the court with the most seniority. When she or he retires, the justice with the most seniority becomes chief justice.

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

  • licensed to practice law in the state for at least ten years;
  • a resident of the district representing for at least one year;
  • under the age of 70.[1]

Court of Appeals

All aspects of selection are the same on the Louisiana Courts of Appeal as on the Louisiana Supreme Court.[1]

District Courts

The 217 judges of the Louisiana District Courts are chosen via partisan elections to serve six year terms.

Midterm vacancies are filled the same as on the Supreme Court.

The chief judge of each court is chosen by the other judges of that court. The terms vary by court.

In order to serve on this court, one must be:

  • licensed to practice law in the state for at least eight years;
  • a resident of the district represented for at least one year; and
  • under the age of 70.[1]

Limited jurisdiction courts

Judges of the Louisiana Family Courts, Louisiana Juvenile Courts, and Louisiana Parish Courts are elected in partisan elections.

In order to serve these courts, one must meet the same requirements as on the Louisiana District Courts.[2]

Justice of the Peace Courts

Judges of the Louisiana Justice of the Peace Courts are elected in partisan elections.

In order to serve on these courts, one must be:

  • a local resident for at least two years;
  • a state resident for at least two years; and
  • under the age of 70.[2]

Support for judicial elections

While there are vocal opponents of judicial elections, a well-know Louisiana political commentator notes that:
"The real effect of campaign contributions is to help elect candidates who share views with contributors rather than to cause a justice, once elected to a ten-year term, to reshape his or her judicial philosophy on a case-by-case basis in order to follow the money."[3]

See also

External links

References