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State of West Virginia

Methods of Judicial Selection: West Virginia

Judicial Nominating Commissions

In 2010, the legislature created a judicial vacancy advisory commission to assist the governor in filling midterm vacancies on the supreme court of appeals, circuit court, and family court. The commission is composed of eleven members. The governor (or the governor's designee), the president of the West Virginia State Bar, and the dean of the West Virginia University College of Law serve as ex officio commission members. In addition, the governor appoints four nonlawyer members, and four lawyer members from a list of ten to twenty nominees submitted by the board of governors of the state bar. No more than four appointed commission members may belong to the same political party, and no more than three appointed members may be residents of the same congressional district. Appointed members serve staggered, six-year terms. Commission members select one of the appointed members to serve as chair for a three-year term.  Click here for the statute governing the judicial vacancy advisory commission. 

Within ninety days of the occurrence of a vacancy, the commission submits to the governor the names of no more five and no fewer than two best qualified applicants.