Vermont judicial elections
Only judges on the probate courts and assistant judges participate in judicial elections in Vermont. Candidates for the probate court must have served as a judge or attorney in the state for at least five of the last 10 years. Assistant judges serve on the superior and district courts. Each county has two assistant judges who are not required to be attorneys. If an elected judge reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 during their term of office, they may serve the remainder of their term. Chapter 2, sections 32-34 of the state constitution specifies the laws governing the selection, retention and terms for judges in the state.
Candidates compete in partisan elections. The winners of the party primaries advance to the general election.
Results are posted on the Vermont Secretary of State website. The office waits one full week after the election before posting results.
All justices and judges on other courts are not elected by voters. Instead, applicants are screened by the Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission who provides a list of candidates to the Governor. The Governor appoints a candidate from the list. The appointee must be confirmed by the senate. Justices and judges serve six-year terms. At the end of their term, they face a vote in the Vermont General Assembly to retain their seat on the court.
The chief judge of the supreme court is also appointed by the Governor, based on a list provided by the nominating commission. The appointee must be approved by the senate. The chief judge of the supreme court serves a six-year term. The administrative judge for each superior court and district court is appointed by the supreme court. These judges serve a four-year term but may be removed by the supreme court.
- Judicial selection in Vermont
- Commission-selection, political appointment method of judicial selection
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