Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Judicial Selection Method: Hybrid
7 Justices
Appointment until age 70
State High Court & Judicial Nominating Commission Composition of Judicial Selection Commission* Judicial Selection Process Source of Commission’s Authority
21 members:

  • All appointed by the Governor

Terms: 1 year (non-staggered)


  • Commission submits a list of at least three but no more than six applicants to the Governor, from which the Governor may choose one.
  • The Governor, with advice and consent of the Governor’s Council, appoints Justices to the Court.

Interim Vacancies

  • The Commission shall identify judicial vacancies and post openings on the Commission’s website.  The Commission will ensure that the applicant pool from which their selections are made reflects the diversity of the Commonwealth. The Commission votes on applicants and submits no fewer than three and no more than six names to the governor for each vacancy.
* 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.