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How Judges Are Selected

Members of the Supreme Court and trial court judges are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by a majority of the Executive Council. Applicants are first screened by a Judicial Selection Commission who then makes recommendations to the Governor for nomination.

New Hampshire is one of only three states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in which judges serve lifetime terms. In most states, judges are elected and must stand for reelection or they are appointed for a set term and must then seek reappointment. In addition to providing for lifetime terms, the New Hampshire Constitution also says that judges cannot serve beyond age 70.

  • To learn more about judicial selection around the country, go to the National Center for State Courts Judicial Selection page at