Pennsylvania’s highest court is the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The court has five justices and one chief justice, who is the longest-serving member of the court. (Source: Pennsylvania Constitution

Judicial Selection

Justices on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania are selected to a 10-year term through a partisan election, where multiple candidates may vie for the seat. Justices may seek additional 10-year terms through standing in an unopposed yes/no retention vote. When a seat opens in the middle of a justice’s term, the governor appoints a candidate to fill the vacancy. The governor’s selection must be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the state senate. The appointed justice holds office until the next municipal election more than 10 months after the vacancy opened, unless the remainder of the seat’s term runs out before then. The elected justice serves a 10-year term. There are no term limits. The mandatory retirement age is 75.

State Constitution

Pennsylvania has had five state constitutions adopted between 1776 and 1968. As of January 1, 2024, it had 36 amendments. (Source: John Dinan, 2024)


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