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Judicial selection in Maryland

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Judicial selection in the states
Judicial selection in Maryland
Seal of Maryland.png
Maryland Court of Appeals
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt., Senate confirmation
Term:   10 years
Maryland Court of Special Appeals
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt., Senate confirmation
Term:   10 years
Maryland Circuit Court
Method:   Partisan elections
Term:   15 years
Maryland District Court
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt., Senate confirmation
Term:   10 years
Maryland Orphans' Court
Method:   Partisan elections
Term:   4 years

Selection of state court judges in Maryland occurs largely through the commission-selection, political appointment method with confirmation from the Maryland Senate. After serving for at least one year, judges must run in yes-no retention elections to determine whether they will continue serving.[1]

Two courts employ different selection methods: the circuit courts, which sometimes use non-partisan elections, and the orphans' court, which uses partisan elections.[1]

Under the Maryland Constitution, elected and retained judges' terms begin on January 1 after the general election.

Court of Appeals

Justices of the Maryland Court of Appeals are chosen via commission-selection, political appointment. Before a justice joins the court, the nomination must be confirmed by the Maryland Senate.[2]

If a vacancy on the court occurs, the same process is used to fill it. A new judge must then face retention, according to the state Constitution, "at the next general election following the expiration of one year from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy which he was appointed to fill."[2][3]

The chief justice of the court serves an indefinite term designated by the governor.[2]

In order to join the court, an individual must meet the following qualifications:[2]

  • be an U.S. and state citizen;
  • be registered to vote in state elections;
  • be a state resident at least 5 yrs;
  • be a circuit resident at least 6 mos;
  • be at lest 30 yrs of age;
  • be a state bar member;
  • retire at the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Court of Special Appeals

All aspects of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals are the same as the Maryland Court of Appeals.[2]

Circuit Court

Justices of the Maryland Circuit Court are elected to at least one-year terms, with subsequent terms of fifteen years by nonpartisan election. The names of all incumbent judges and their challengers appear without party affiliation on both the Republican and Democratic primary ballots. The candidate who receives the most votes in each primary, go on to compete in the general election. Ballots will not denote incumbents.[2]

If a vacancy on the court occurs, gubernatorial appointment from a nominating commission is required.[2]

The chief justice of the court is chosen by seniority.[2]

All qualifications to join the Maryland Circuit Court are the same as the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.[2]

District Court

Judges of the District Courts are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate the same as the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and Maryland Court of Appeals. Judges serve 10-year terms.[4]

Orphans' Court

Judges of the Orphans' Court run for election every four years. Vacancies are filled by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the state senate. The appointee serves for the remainder of the term.[5][6]

See also

External links

References

MarylandMaryland Court of AppealsMaryland Court of Special AppealsMaryland District CourtsMaryland Circuit CourtsMaryland Orphans' CourtUnited States District Court for the District of MarylandUnited States bankruptcy court, District of MarylandUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitMaryland countiesMaryland judicial newsMaryland judicial electionsJudicial selection in MarylandMarylandTemplate.jpg