New Hampshire

New Hampshire Supreme Court
5 Justices
Appointment until age 70
State High Court & Judicial Nominating Commission Composition & Terms of Judicial Nominating Commission* Judicial Selection Process Source of Commission’s Authority
9-11 members**:

  • All appointed by the Governor

Terms: 3 years (non-staggered)


  • Commission submits a list of names of qualified persons to the Governor from which the Governor may choose one.
  • The Governor nominates and appoints Supreme Court Justices.
  • The majority of the Executive Council is required to approve the Governor’s nominee to confirm the nomination.

Interim Vacancies

  • Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of a Supreme Court justice, a Superior Court justice, or a Circuit court judge, the Governor shall forthwith notify the chair of the Commission of the vacancy. The Commission shall proceed to recommend to the Governor the names of qualified persons for each vacancy in accordance with a schedule provided by the Governor.
  • Whenever the Governor nominates a person to any vacancy occurring in the office of a Supreme Court justice, a Superior Court justice, or a Circuit Court judge, the Governor shall do so from the list of names of qualified persons submitted by the Commission. The Governor may from time to time request the Commission to engage in a further search for qualified applicants.
* Commission established pursuant to Executive Order

Percentage of Lawyers on the Nominating Commission

Who Selects the Nominating Commissioners?

    Docket Watch

  • Gay Marriage Update: New England, Iowa, Wisconsin, and California

    Litigation regarding gay marriage and other gay rights issues continues throughout the several states, and it is increasingly likely that the Supreme Court of the United States will rule on whether the United States Constitution guarantees a right to gay marriage. This article, a synopsis of the status of gay marriage in various states, analyzes recent court decisions in hopes of illuminating the relevant legal arguments. This article also highlights the most well-organized efforts and key players in the campaigns to legalize gay marriage at the state level.

  • 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.