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State of Rhode Island

Methods of Judicial Selection: Rhode Island

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 5
Superior Court: 22
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: 1
Superior Court: 1
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Superior Court: statewide
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with house and senate confirmation
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
Length of Term
Supreme Court: life
Superior Court: life
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: N/A
Superior Court: N/A
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: N/A
Superior Court: N/A
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with house and senate confirmation
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: N/A
Superior Court: N/A
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with house and senate confirmation
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: life
Superior Court: life
Qualifications
Supreme Court: attorney; licensed in state; state bar member in good standing
Superior Court: attorney; licensed in state; state bar member in good standing
Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article X of the Rhode Island Constitution.