Select a State:

State of New Hampshire

Judicial Selection in the States: New Hampshire

Overview

News

A plan (HB 1303) to revamp Colorado s Judicial Performance Evaluation system is set for a vote by the House this week. The plan would...

Read More...

An effort to improve voter education when it comes to judicial elections in California has cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee. AB 1463 as amended creates...

Read More...

A constitutional amendment discussed here and here to give Delaware s governor and senate more time to consider judicial nominations cleared its final hurdle. With...

Read More...

Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

Read More...

The New Hampshire judiciary consists of a supreme court, a superior court, a district court, and a probate court. The district and probate courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. New Hampshire judges are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the executive council, a five-member body elected by the people to advise the governor. In 2000, Governor Shaheen became the first New Hampshire governor to create a judicial nominating commission by executive order. In 2005, Governor Lynch followed her example with an executive order creating a judicial selection commission.

In 2000, four justices of the New Hampshire Supreme Court came under fire. One justice resigned, two others faced impeachment hearings, and a fourth was impeached but not convicted. These events prompted a series of reform proposals, including the governor's judicial selection commission, aimed at strengthening the public's confidence in the judiciary. Two reform efforts succeeded: a requirement that justices of the supreme court serve as chief justice for rotating five-year terms based on seniority, and the creation of an independent disciplinary panel for judges. Failed proposals included the establishment of a judicial nominating commission by constitutional amendment or statute, renewable terms for judges, regular judicial performance review, and senate confirmation of judicial nominees.