Select a State:

State of Alabama

Methods of Judicial Selection: Alabama

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 9
Court of Criminal Appeals: 5
Court of Civil Appeals: 5
Circuit Court: 144
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Court of Criminal Appeals: --
Court of Civil Appeals: --
Circuit Court: 41
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Criminal Appeals: statewide
Court of Civil Appeals: statewide
Circuit Court: circuit
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: partisan election
Court of Criminal Appeals: partisan election
Court of Civil Appeals: partisan election
Circuit Court: partisan election
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Criminal Appeals: 6 yrs
Court of Civil Appeals: 6 yrs
Circuit Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: reelection
Court of Criminal Appeals: reelection
Court of Civil Appeals: reelection
Circuit Court: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Criminal Appeals: 6 yrs
Court of Civil Appeals: 6 yrs
Circuit Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment
Court of Criminal Appeals: gubernatorial appointment
Court of Civil Appeals: gubernatorial appointment
Circuit Court: gubernatorial appointment*
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: next general election after 1 yr in office
Court of Criminal Appeals: next general election after 1 yr in office
Court of Civil Appeals: next general election after 1 yr in office
Circuit Court: next general election after 1 yr in office
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: popular election
Court of Criminal Appeals: peer vote
Court of Civil Appeals: seniority
Circuit Court: peer vote
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Criminal Appeals: indefinite
Court of Civil Appeals: indefinite
Circuit Court: 3 yrs
Qualifications
Supreme Court: licensed to practice law 10 yrs; 1 yr resident; maximum age of 70
Court of Criminal Appeals: licensed to practice law 10 yrs; 1 yr resident; maximum age of 70
Court of Civil Appeals: licensed to practice law 10 yrs; 1 yr resident; maximum age of 70
Circuit Court: licensed to practice law 5 yrs; 1 yr resident of circuit; maximum age of 70

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Amendment 328 of the Alabama Constitution.

*In Baldwin, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Madison, Mobile, Shelby, Talladega, and Tuscaloosa Counties, gubernatorial appointments are made from lists of candidates submitted by judicial nominating commissions.