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State of Mississippi

Methods of Judicial Selection: Mississippi

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 9
Court of Appeals: 10
Circuit Court: 51
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: 3
Court of Appeals: 5
Circuit Court: 22
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: district
Court of Appeals: district
Circuit Court: district
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: nonpartisan election*
Court of Appeals: nonpartisan election*
Circuit Court: nonpartisan election*
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 8 yrs
Court of Appeals: 8 yrs
Circuit Court: 4 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: 8 yrs
Circuit Court: 4 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: **
Court of Appeals: **
Circuit Court: next general election held more than 9 mos after vacancy occurs
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: seniority
Court of Appeals: chief justice appoints
Circuit Court: seniority
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: duration of service
Court of Appeals: 4 yrs
Circuit Court: duration of service
Qualifications
Supreme Court: practicing attorney 5 yrs; minimum age of 30; state citizen 5 yrs
Court of Appeals: practicing attorney 5 yrs; minimum age of 30; state citizen 5 yrs
Circuit Court: practicing attorney 5 yrs; minimum age of 26; state citizen 5 yrs; district resident

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article 6 of the Mississippi Constitution and Section 9-4-5 of the MIssissippi Code.

*Judicial candidates run in the general election. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff election between the top two candidates is held.

**According to a law passed in 2002, an appointee serves out the remainder of the unexpired term if four years or less remain on the term. If more than four years remain, the appointee runs in the next general election held more than nine months after the vacancy occurs and then serves the remainder of the term.