Supreme Court of Alabama
Judicial Selection Method: Election (Partisan)
9 Justices
6 year terms
State High Court Judicial Selection Process Legal Authority

  • In a partisan primary election, the candidate who receives a majority of the votes is placed on the ballot for the general election.
  • If no one receives a majority, the two candidates who received the highest total votes face off in a second primary.
  • The candidate who wins a party’s primary election is placed on the ballot for the general election.
  • The candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the general election is appointed to the Supreme Court of Alabama.
  • If there is a tie, the legislature, by joint vote, chooses one of the candidates for judicial office.

Interim Vacancies

  • Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Governor.
  • The appointee shall hold his office until the next general election for any state officer held at least six months after the vacancy occurs, and until his successor is elected and qualified. The successor chosen at such election shall hold office for the unexpired term and until his successor is elected and qualified.

    Docket Watch

  • Duties to the Unborn: Alabama Supreme Court Deems Viability Irrelevant to Fetal Wrongful-Death Actions

    April Mack sued to recover for the wrongful death of her unborn child, who miscarried after a car accident. The Alabama Supreme Court ultimately vindicated her right to recovery, despite her having miscarried her child before the point of viability. In order to do so, the court found that viability made no sense as a prerequisite to wrongful-death recovery, holding an unborn child’s gestational age irrelevant as a matter of law. Conspicuously, the court never saw fit to even mention the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence and its treatment of viability.

  • Judicial Election

    Judges are elected by popular vote.
  • Democratic Appointment

    Judges are appointed directly by a democratic body, or appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of some democratic body.