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State of Vermont

History of Reform Efforts: Vermont

Formal Changes Since Inception

1777
All judges appointed by the Governor with consent fo the council.

1786
All judges elected to one-year terms by the unicameral general assembly in conjunction with the council.

1850
Inferior court judges elected by the people to one-year terms.

1870
All judges elected by the General Assembly to two-year terms.

1967
The General Assembly passed a law establishing a panel to review candidates for judicial vacancies and to provide the Governor with a list of qualified candidates.

1974
Voters approved a constitutional amendment creating a merit selection system for Vermont judges. The judicial nominating board submits the names of qualified candidates for appointment to the governor, whose selection must be confirmed by the senate. Judges serve six-year terms, after which they must be retained by a majority vote of the general assembly.