West Virginia

West Virginia’s highest court is the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. The court has four justices and one chief justice, who is chosen for a one-year term by the members of the court. (Source: Supreme Court of Appeals

Judicial Selection

West Virginia Supreme Court justices are selected for 12-year terms through a nonpartisan election, where multiple candidates may vie for the seat. Justices may seek additional terms through nonpartisan elections. When a seat opens in the middle of a justice’s term, the governor appoints a candidate from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. The appointed justice holds office until West Virginia’s next general election. The elected justice serves the remainder of the unexpired term. There are no term limits, nor is there a mandatory retirement age. 

State Constitution

West Virginia has had two state constitutions adopted in 1863 and 1872.  As of January 1, 2024, it had 75 amendments. (Source: John Dinan, 2024)



Sole footer logo

A project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law