Select a State:

State of Michigan

Methods of Judicial Selection: Michigan

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 7
Court of Appeals: 28
Circuit Court: 221
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Court of Appeals: 4
Circuit Court: 57
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Appeals: district
Circuit Court: circuit
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: partisan nomination; nonpartisan election*+
Court of Appeals: nonpartisan election*+
Circuit Court: nonpartisan election*+
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 8 yrs
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs
Circuit Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: reelection
Court of Appeals: reelection
Circuit Court: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 8 yrs
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs
Circuit Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment**
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment**
Circuit Court: gubernatorial appointment**
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: next general election; serve remainder of unexpired term
Court of Appeals: next general election; serve remainder of unexpired term
Circuit Court: next general election; serve remainder of unexpired term
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: peer vote
Court of Appeals: supreme court appointment
Circuit Court: supreme court appointment
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 2 yrs
Court of Appeals: 2 yrs
Circuit Court: 2 yrs
Qualifications
Supreme Court: qualified elector; licensed to practice law in state; 5 yrs practice of law; less than 70 yrs of age
Court of Appeals: qualified elector of district; licesed to practice law in state; 5 yrs practice of law; less than 70 yrs of age
Circuit Court: qualified elector of circuit; licensed to practice law in state; 5 yrs practice of law; less than 70 yrs of age

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article VI of the Michigan Constitution

*Candidates for open seats on the supreme court or who want to challenge incumbent justices must be nominated at party conventions or by nominating petition. Incumbent justices may file an affidavit of candidacy, asking to be placed on the ballot. Candidates for other courts are nominated in nonpartisan primary elections or by nominating petition. Incumbent judges may file an affidavit of candidacy. Candidates appear without party affiliation on the general election ballot, with incumbent judges designated as such.

**The standing committee on judicial qualifications of the State Bar of Michigan interviews, evaluates, and rates candidates for appointment to judicial vacancies as requested by the governor and submits a confidential report to the governor.

+Incumbency is designated on the ballot by including the current title of the judge up for reelection.  The elections are also marked as incumbent positions.