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State of Vermont

Methods of Judicial Selection: Vermont

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 5
Superior Court: 12*
District Court: 17*
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Superior Court: 14
District Court: 14
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Superior Court: statewide
District Court: statewide
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Superior Court: 6 yrs
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: vote of general assembly
Superior Court: vote of general assembly
District Court: vote of general assembly
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Superior Court: 6 yrs
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: expiration of unexpired term
Superior Court: expiration of unexpired term
District Court: expiration of unexpired term
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
Superior Court: administrative judge for trial courts appointed by supreme court
District Court: administrative judge for trial courts appointed by supreme court
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Superior Court: appointed to 4 yr term but may be removed by supreme court
District Court: appointed to 4 yr term but may be removed by supreme court
Qualifications
Supreme Court: attorney who has practiced law or served as judge in state for more than 5 of the last 10 yrs; mandatory retirement at 70
Superior Court: attorney who has practiced law or served as judge in state for more than 5 of the last 10 yrs; mandatory retirement at 70
District Court: attorney who has practiced law or served as judge in state for more than 5 of last 10 yrs; mandatory retirment at 70

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Chapter 2, Sections 32, 33, and 34 of the Vermont Constitution.

Each county is also served by two assistant judges, who are chosen in partisan elections and serve four- year terms. Assistant judges have limited power and are not required to be attorneys.

*Superior Court and District Court judges also serve as Family Court judges.