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State of West Virginia

Methods of Judicial Selection: West Virginia

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court of Appeals: 5
Circuit Court: 66
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court of Appeals: --
Circuit Court: 31
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court of Appeals: statewide
Circuit Court: circuit
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court of Appeals: nonpartisan election
Circuit Court: nonpartisan election
Length of Term
Supreme Court of Appeals: 12 yrs
Circuit Court: 8 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court of Appeals: reelection
Circuit Court: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court of Appeals: nonpartisan election
Circuit Court: nonpartisan election
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
Circuit Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court of Appeals: next general election; hold office for remainder of unexpired term
Circuit Court: next general election; hold office for remainder of unexpired term
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court of Appeals: peer vote
Circuit Court: peer vote
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court of Appeals: 1 yr
Circuit Court: varies by circuit
Qualifications
Supreme Court of Appeals: state citizen 5 yrs; minimum age of 30; 10 yrs practice of law
Circuit Court: state citizen 5 yrs; circuit resident; minimum age of 30; 5 yrs practice of law
Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article VIII of the West Virginia Constitution.