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Criminal Courts

Selecting State Judges

The process for selecting state trial and appellate court judges varies greatly among the states. Some are elected by political party and others are appointed by a state's legislature. The same is true for selecting state high court judges. The terms of office can also be quite different among states and between court levels. Appellate court judges usually enjoy longer terms than trial court judges.

State trial court judges generally serve from four- to six-year terms though in some states they can serve until seventy years of age. Some states have life-long terms for high court judges like the federal government. Because of the elected and political appointment processes used for selecting state court judges, these court systems often play a major role in state politics.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawCriminal Courts - Early American Courts, The Constitution And The Courts, Creating A National Court System, Federal Courts - Special state courts