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State of West Virginia

History of Reform Efforts: West Virginia

Formal Changes Since Inception

Judges of the supreme court of appeals elected by the people to twelve-year terms. Circuit court judges elected to six-year terms

Term length of circuit court judges increased from six to eight years.

Voters ratified the Judicial Reorganization Amendment, effective 1976. The amendment established a unified court system, uniting all state courts except municipal courts into a single system to be supervised and administered by the supreme court of appeals.

Family court created, effective 2002.

HB 4036 created a judicial vacancy advisory commission to assist the governor in filling midterm vacancies on the supreme court of appeals, circuit court, and family court.

HB 4130 created a public campaign financing pilot program for the 2012 supreme court of appeals elections.