Judicial selection in the states

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Judicial selection in the states



Methods of judicial selection vary substantially across the country. Also, each state has different levels and even names for those levels of courts. In order to provide a quick reference to their methods of judicial selection, each state has its own table on this page.

WashingtonOregonCaliforniaAlaskaIdahoNevadaMontanaWyomingUtahArizonaColoradoNew MexicoNorth DakotaSouth DakotaNebraskaKansasOklahomaTexasMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaWisconsinIllinoisMississippiMichiganMichiganIndianaOhioKentuckyTennesseeAlabamaNew YorkPennsylvaniaWest VirginiaVirginiaNorth CarolinaGeorgiaSouth CarolinaFloridaMaineVermontD.C.Rhode IslandVermontNew HampshireNew HampshireMassachusettsMassachusettsNew JerseyNew JerseyConnecticutDelawareMarylandHawaiiPartisan election of judgesNon-partisan election of judgesAppointed by governorAppointed by commissionLegislative election of judgesAppointed by US PresidentSupreme court selection map.png
Appellate court selection in the United States




Method totals

This table shows the number of courts that use the various methods across the United States.

Method Supreme Court (of 52) Courts of Appeal (of 40) Trial Courts (of 130)
Partisan elections (PE) 8 6 45
Non-partisan elections (NPE) 14 12 39
Legislative elections (LE) 2 2 5
Gubernatorial appointment of judges (GAJ) 4 3 8
Commission-selection, political appointment (CS) 22 17 33


Methods by state

Key
PE Partisan election of judges
NPE Non-partisan election of judges
LE Legislative election of judges
GAJ Gubernatorial appointment of judges
CS Commission-selection, political appointment method of judicial selection


State Supreme Court Courts of Appeal Circuit Court District Court
Flag of Alabama.svg Alabama PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Courts of Appeal Superior Court District Court
Flag of Alaska.svg Alaska CS CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Courts of Appeal Superior Court Justices of the Peace
Flag of Arizona.svg Arizona CS CS CS or NPE PE


State Supreme Court Courts of Appeal Circuit Court District Court
Flag of Arkansas.svg Arkansas NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Courts of Appeal Superior Court
Flag of California.svg California GAJ GAJ NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court County Courts
Flag of Colorado.svg Colorado CS CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Superior Court Probate Court
Flag of Connecticut.svg Connecticut CS CS CS PE


State Supreme Court Superior Court Court of Chancery Family Court Court of Common Pleas
Flag of Delaware.svg Delaware CS CS CS CS

CS


State Supreme Court District Courts of Appeal Circuit Court County Courts
Flag of Florida.svg Florida CS CS NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Superior Court Probate Court State Court
Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Georgia NPE NPE NPE PE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court District Court
Flag of Hawaii.svg Hawaii CS CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court
Flag of Idaho.svg Idaho NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Appellate Court Circuit Court
Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court Superior Court Tax Court Probate Court County Court City Court Town Court Small Claims Court
Flag of Indiana.svg Indiana CS CS PE or NPE CS or PE CS PE PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court
Flag of Iowa.svg Iowa CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court
Flag of Kansas.svg Kansas CS CS PE or CS


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court District Court
Flag of Kentucky.svg Kentucky NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court Family Courts Juvenile Courts Parish Courts
Flag of Louisiana.svg Louisiana PE PE PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Superior Court District Court Probate Courts
Flag of Maine.svg Maine GAJ GAJ GAJ PE


State Court of Appeals Court of Special Appeals Circuit Court District Court Orphans' Courts
Flag of Maryland.svg Maryland CS CS CS or NPE CS PE


State Supreme Judicial Court Appeals Court Superior Court District Court Probate Court Juvenile Court
Flag of Massachusetts-cropped.png Massachusetts GAJ GAJ GAJ GAJ GAJ GAJ


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court District Court Probate Court
Flag of Michigan.svg Michigan NPE NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court
Flag of Minnesota.svg Minnesota NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court Chancery Court County Court Justice Court
Flag of Mississippi.svg Mississippi NPE NPE NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court
Flag of Missouri.svg Missouri CS CS PE or CS


State Supreme Court District Court Workers' Compensation Court City Court Justice of the Peace
Flag of Montana.svg Montana NPE NPE CS NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court County Court Juvenile Court Workers' Compensation Court
Flag of Nebraska.svg Nebraska CS CS CS CS CS

CS


State Supreme Court District Court Municipal Courts Justice Courts
Flag of Nevada.svg Nevada NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Superior Court District Court Probate Court
Flag of New Hampshire.svg New Hampshire CS CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Appellate Division of the Superior Court Superior Court Tax Court
Flag of New Jersey.svg New Jersey GAJ GAJ GAJ GAJ


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court Magistrate Probate Court
Flag of New Mexico.svg New Mexico PE PE PE PE PE


State Court of Appeals Supreme Court, Appellate Division Supreme Court Court of Claims Family Court Surrogate's Court Civil Court District Court Town Court
Flag of New York.svg New York CS CS PE PE CS PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Superior Court District Court
Flag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court
Flag of North Dakota.svg North Dakota NPE See: Judicial selection in North Dakota NPE


State Supreme Court Courts of Appeal Courts of Common Pleas County Courts
Flag of Ohio.svg Ohio NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court/Court of Criminal Appeals Court of Civil Appeals District Court
Flag of Oklahoma.svg Oklahoma CS CS NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court Tax Court County Court Justice Court
Flag of Oregon.svg Oregon NPE NPE NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court Superior Court Commonwealth Court Courts of Common Pleas
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Superior Court Family Court District Court
Flag of Rhode Island.svg Rhode Island CS CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court Family Courts Magistrate Courts Probate Courts
Flag of South Carolina.svg South Carolina LE LE LE LE LE PE


State Supreme Court Circuit Court
Flag of South Dakota.svg South Dakota CS NPE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Court of Criminal Appeals Chancery Court Criminal Court Circuit Court Probate Court General Sessions Court
Flag of Tennessee.svg Tennessee CS CS CS PE PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court/Court of Criminal Appeals Courts of Appeal District Court County Courts Justices of the Peace
Flag of Texas.svg Texas PE PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court Juvenile Court
Flag of Utah.svg Utah CS CS CS CS


State Supreme Court Superior Court District Court Probate Court
Vermontflag.png Vermont CS CS CS PE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court General District Court
Flag of Virginia.svg Virginia LE LE LE LE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Superior Court District Court
Flag of Washington.svg Washington NPE NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court of Appeals Circuit Court Family Court Magistrate
Flag of West Virginia.svg West Virginia PE PE PE PE


State Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Court
Flag of Wisconsin.svg Wisconsin NPE NPE NPE


State Supreme Court District Court Circuit Court
Flag of Wyoming.svg Wyoming CS CS CS

See also