The Rhode Island Supreme Court, founded in 1747, is the court of last resort for the state of Rhode Island.
The court consists of a Chief Justice and four Justices. While in other courts, justices are required to retire at a mandated age, the same is not true for the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court hold office for life.
The current justices of the court are:
Paul Suttell is the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. He was nominated to this position by Governor Carcieri, approved by the Senate, and sworn in on July 16, 2009. 
The Rhode Island Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over legal and constitutional questions. Additionally, the court must regulate admission to the state Bar, and determines disciplinary issues as well. 
Selection of Supreme Court justices begins with the Judicial Nominating Commission. The Commission submits three to five names to the Governor of Rhode Island, and upon receiving the names, the Governor selects and appoints one. The appointed justice must then be approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. 
Removal of justices
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The Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court earns $167,644 annually, while associate justices earn $152,403, as of January 2010.
History of the court
Rhode Island Supreme and Superior Courthouse in Providence
In 1747, the Rhode Island General Assembly authorized the creation of the Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize, and General Gaol Delivery, consisting of one Chief Justice and four Associates, all serving one year terms. Most of the judges during the 18th century were laymen, merchants or farmers and did not possess formal legal training, and therefore the court did not explicitly follow British Common Law. Parties, however, could still appeal to the British monarch, English courts or General Assembly. In 1747, the Assembly appointed the first Chief Justice, Gideon Cowell, who was not a lawyer and the second, Joshua Babcock, a Yale educated physician. Stephen Hopkins served as Chief Justice from 1747 to 1755 and was the first trained lawyer to serve in this position. In 1798, the Assembly renamed the Superior Court "The Supreme Judicial Court," and in 1843, "The Supreme Court."
- Peleg Arnold, Delegate to the Continental Congress
- Stephen Hopkins, Signatory of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Rhode Island
- David Howell (jurist), Delegate to the Continental Congress, federalist leader, U.S. District Judge
- William West, 1787-1789, American Revolution general, Deputy Governor, anti-federalist rebellion leader
- News: Rhode Island Supreme Court rules on union arbitration, February 15, 2012
- News: Rhode Island attorney sues Supreme Court, December 28, 2011
- News: Convicted killer Craig Price appeals contempt charge to Rhode Island Supreme Court, November 8, 2011
- News: Rhode Island Representative Leo Medina charged with felony misappropriation of funds, September 12, 2011
- News: Rhode Island Supreme Court rules in favor of Deep Water, August 29, 2011
- News: Attorneys argue procedure that led to "Tent City" residents eviction to Rhode Island Supreme Court, June 13, 2011
- News: Summary judgment requested over pension cuts, May 31, 2011
- Rhode Island Supreme Court Official Site
- Irving Berdine Richman, Rhode Island: A Study in Separatism, (Houghton, Mifflic & Co, Rhode Island: 1907), 191.
- Thomas Durfee, Gleanings from the Judicial History of Rhode Island, (Providence: Sidney S. Rider, 1883), p. 164
- Amasa M. Eaton, The Development of the Judicial System in Rhode Island, Yale Law Journal14 (Jan. 1905), 148-170.
- John T. Farrell, The Early History of Rhode Island’s Court System, Rhode Island History 9 (July 1950), 65-71; 9 (Oct. 1950), 103-117; 10 (Jan. 1951), 14-25
- Link to article describing various RI Court primary sources
- Gail I. Winson, "Researching the Laws of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: From Lively Experiment1to Statehoodby," (Roger Williams School of Law)Article link.
- Rhode Island Supreme Court Selection and Responsibilities of Justices
- Wikipedia: Rhode Island Supreme Court
- Constitution of Rhode Island