Supreme Court of Virginia
Democratic Appointment (Legislative)
7 Justices
12 year term
State High Court Judicial Selection Process Legal Authority

  • Justices are elected by a majority of votes from each house of the General Assembly.
  • At the end of a Justice’s term, the Justice is subject to reelection by a majority of votes from each house of the General Assembly.

Interim Vacancies

  • Whenever a vacancy occurs or exists in the office of a justice of the Supreme Court while the General Assembly is in session, or whenever the term of office of a justice of the Supreme Court will expire or the office will be vacated at a date certain between the adjournment of the General Assembly and the commencement of the next session of the General Assembly, a successor may be elected at any time during a session preceding the date of such vacancy, by the vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly, for a full term and, upon qualification, the successor shall enter at once upon the discharge of the duties of the office; however, such successor shall not qualify prior to the predecessor leaving office.

    Docket Watch

  • Virginia Supreme Court Limits Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Climate Change Lawsuits

    AES Corp. v. Steadfast Insurance Co.,1 was a closely watched Virginia Supreme Court case that, as the New York Times put it, basically asked whether an insurance company has to “foot the bill for a company facing damages over climate change.”2 The case was significant for the insurance industry and others interested in climate change litigation, because it was the first of its kind to reach an appellate court. The court ultimately held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify against climate change-related injuries under the terms of its general commercial liability (GCL) insurance policy.

  • 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.