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Methods of Judicial Selection: Maine

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Judicial Court: 7
Superior Court: 17
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Judicial Court: --
Superior Court: --
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Judicial Court: statewide
Superior Court: statewide
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Judicial Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation*
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation*
Length of Term
Supreme Judicial Court: 7 yrs
Superior Court: 7 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Judicial Court: gubernatorial reappointment with senate confirmation*
Superior Court: gubernatorial reappointment with senate confirmation*
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Judicial Court: 7 yrs
Superior Court: 7 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Judicial Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation*
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation*
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Judicial Court: 7 yrs
Superior Court: 7 yrs
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Judicial Court: gubernatorial appointment
Superior Court: chief justice
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Judicial Court: 7 yrs
Superior Court: at pleasure of Chief Justice
Qualifications
Supreme Judicial Court: "learned in the law"
Superior Court: "learned in the law"

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Articles V and VI of the Maine Constitution.

*Governor LePage established by executive order a fourteen-member judicial selection committee to "advise [him] about matters related to judicial appointments and recommend candidates to fill vacancies." Members include a representative from the attorney general's office and practicing attorneys. When a judicial vacancy occurs, the governor nominates a candidate to fill the vacancy. The legislature's joint standing committee on the judiciary recommends by majority vote that the nominee be confirmed or denied. The committee's recommendation is reviewed by the senate and becomes final unless two thirds of the senate votes to override the recommendation.