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State of Louisiana

History of Reform Efforts: Louisiana

Formal Changes Since Inception

1812
All judges appointed for life by the governor with senate consent.

1845
Tenure changed from life to eight-year terms.

1852
Supreme court justices elected by the people to ten-year terms. District court judges elected by the people to eight-year terms.

1864
All judges appointed to eight-year terms by the governor with senate consent.

1868
Terms of district court judges reduced to four years.

1879
Terms of supreme court justices increased to twelve years. Court of appeals created. Judges elected to eight-year terms by joint ballot of the legislature.

1904
Supreme court justices elected by the people to twelve-year terms.

1906
Court of appeals judges elected by the people to eight-year terms.

1921
Terms of supreme court justices increased to fourteen years, court of appeals judges to twelve years, and district court judges to six years.

1974
Terms of supreme court justices and court of appeals judges reduced to ten years.

2000
Supreme court districts were reapportioned into seven new districts, with one justice elected from each district.

2006
Voters approved a proposed constitutional amendment increasing the minimum legal experience required of judicial candidates from 5 years for all judges to 8 years for district, family, parish, and juvenile court judges and 10 years for appellate court judges. The amendment also reduces the residency requirement for candidates for these courts to one year prior to the election in their respective districts, circuits, or parishes. The amendment took effect January 2008.