Nebraska Supreme Court
Judicial Selection Method: Missouri Plan
7 Justices
3 year minimum initial terms, 6 year terms
State High Court & Judicial Nominating Commission Composition & Terms of Judicial Nominating Commission Judicial Selection Process Legal Authority
      • 9 members*:
    • 4 lawyers elected by the Nebraska state bar
    • 4 non-lawyers appointed by the Governor
    • 1 Justice of the Supreme Court appointed by the Governor, serves as Chair and has no voting power

*No more than 4 of the voting members may be of the same political party

Terms: 4 years (staggered)


  • There is a Judicial Nominating Commission for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and one for each judicial district of the Supreme Court, each of which consists of nine members.
  • Commission submits a list of at least two nominees from which the Governor must choose one.
  • At the end of a Justice’s term, the Justice is subject to a retention election.
  • The Chief Justice’s retention election is statewide, whereas the retention elections for the other Supreme Court Justices are done by district. (District Map)
  • The Justice will continue for another term if he or she is retained.

Interim Vacancies

  • In the case of any vacancy in the Supreme Court, district court, or other court made subject to this provision by law, such vacancy shall be filled by the Governor from a list of at least two nominees presented to him by the appropriate judicial nominating commission.
  • If the Governor fails to make an appointment from the list within sixty days, the appointment shall be made by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Percentage of Lawyers on the Nominating Commission

Who Selects the Nominating Commissioners?

    Docket Watch

  • Nebraska High Court Applies Common Law Doctrine of In Loco Parentis to Confer Standing on Former Same-Sex Domestic Partner in Child Custody Dispute

    With the use of surrogates, in-vitro fertilization, adoption, and egg and sperm donation, same-sex couples are increasingly able to have children. However, when these relationships sour, separation and divorce of gay and lesbian couples gives rise to complex issues of child custody and visitation. In Latham v. Schwerdtfeger,1 the Nebraska Supreme Court was faced with the issue of whether the doctrine of in loco parentis granted a former same-sex domestic partner standing to sue for child custody and visitation for her non-biological child. Nebraska, like most states, does not have specific statutes to address same-sex couple unions, dissolution of marriage, and child custody disputes. Courts therefore turn to common law principles to fashion a remedy when such disputes arise.

  • 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.