Delaware Supreme Court
Judicial Selection Method: Hybrid
5 Justices
12 year terms
State High Court & Judicial Nominating Commission Composition & Terms of Judicial Nominating Commission* Judicial Selection Process Legal Authority
      • 12 members:
    • 10 appointed by Governor
      • At least 4 lawyers
      • At least 3 non-lawyers
    • 1 lawyer nominated by president of the Delaware state bar, who is then appointed by Governor

Terms: 3 years (staggered)


  • Commission submits a list of at least three qualified persons from which the Governor may choose one.
  • The Governor’s nomination is subject to confirmation by a majority vote of all the members of the Senate.
  • Three of the five Justices in office at the same time shall be of one major political party, and two of the Justices shall be of the other major political party.
  • At the end of a Justice’s term, the Justice is subject to reappointment and reconfirmation for another term.

Interim Vacancies

  • The Governor shall submit his or her appointment within a period from 30 days before to 90 days after the occurrence of a vacancy howsoever caused. If a vacancy shall occur, by expiration of term or otherwise, at a time when the Senate shall not be in session, the Governor shall within a period from 30 days before to 90 days after the happening of any such vacancy convene the Senate for the purpose of confirming his or her appointment to fill said vacancy and the transaction of such other executive business as may come before it.
* Commission established pursuant to Executive Order

Percentage of Lawyers on the Nominating Commission

Who Selects the Nominating Commissioners?
  • 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.