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Judicial selection in Massachusetts

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Judicial selection in the states
Judicial selection in Massachusetts
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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Method:   Gubernatorial appointment with approval of Governor's Council
Term:   Until age 70
Massachusetts Appeals Court
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt. with approval of Governor's Council
Term:   Until age 70
Massachusetts Superior Courts
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt. with approval of Governor's Council
Term:   Until age 70

Supreme Judicial Court

Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court are appointed to terms lasting until 70 years of age.

A nominating commission screens applicants and makes recommendations to the governor. The governor then names a nominee, who must be approved for the appointment by the Governor's Council.[1]

The chief justice of the supreme court serves a term until the ago of 70 and is also selected by gubernatorial appointment with the approval of the Governor's Council.[1]

In order to join the court, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

Appeals Court

The appointment and nomination process for a judge to sit on the Massachusetts Appeals Court is the same as the process for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, with the exception of different qualifying requirements. These require the nominee to:

  • be an U.S. citizen
  • be a state resident
  • be a state bar member in good standing
  • have 13 years legal experience and training[1]

Retirement is mandatory at age 70.[1]

These listed qualifications are prescribed in Executive Order 500.

Superior Courts

Trial court judges in any department, must meet the same qualifications as those listed for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The chief justice of each trial court department is selected by the chief justice of the trial court from the sitting justices within that department and serves a five-year term. Although not required under the Massachusetts Constitution, governors generally choose to impose minimum requirements for those applying to be a judge on the superior courts.[1]

The qualifications state the nominee must:

  • be an U.S. citizen
  • be a state resident
  • be a state bar member in good standing
  • have 10 years legal experience and training[1]

Retirement is mandatory at age 70.[1]

These listed qualifications are prescribed in Executive Order 500.

Governor's Council

The Governor's Council, also referred to as the Executive Council, is the governmental body that is constitutionally authorized to approve judicial appointments. The council consists of eight members who are elected biennially from each of the eight council districts.[2]

The Governor's Council holds hearings and approves the governor's nominations to the appellate, district, probate, juvenile, superior and supreme courts. The council holds hearings and approves nominations for the industrial accident and parole boards, in addition to approving appointments for notary publics and justices of the peace. The council is responsible for approving the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' financial warrants. Any time the governor issues a pardon or commutes a sentence, the council must vote to approve or deny his decision.[3]

See also

External links

References

MassachusettsMassachusetts Supreme Judicial CourtMassachusetts Appeals CourtMassachusetts Superior CourtsMassachusetts District CourtsMassachusetts Housing CourtsMassachusetts Juvenile CourtsMassachusetts Land CourtsMassachusetts Probate and Family CourtsBoston Municipal Courts, MassachusettsUnited States District Court for the District of MassachusettsUnited States bankruptcy court, District of MassachusettsUnited States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitMassachusetts countiesMassachusetts judicial newsMassachusetts judicial electionsJudicial selection in MassachusettsMassachusettsTemplate.jpg