State supreme court

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In the United States, a state supreme court (known by other names in some states) is the highest judicial tribunal in the court system of a particular state.[1]

Generally, the state supreme court, like most appellate courts, is exclusively for hearing appeals from lower courts.[1] It does not make any finding of facts, and thus holds no trials. In the case where the trial court made an egregious error in its finding of facts, the state supreme court will send the case back to the trial court for a new trial.[1] This responsibility of correcting the errors of inferior courts is the origin of a number of the different names for supreme courts in various state court systems. The court consists of a panel of judges selected by methods outlined in the state constitution.[2]

Many states elect their state Supreme Court justices and/or use elections to retain judges.[3] Since 2000, the amount of money raised by judicial candidates has risen enormously.[3] Special interest groups have contributed to many of these campaigns raising questions of impartiality.[3] The US Supreme Court, in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. (2009) in a 5-4 decision, ruled that an elected state supreme court judge sitting on a case involving a campaign contributor was a violation of due process.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "State Supreme Courts". USLegal, Inc. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  2. "Comparing Federal & State Courts". United States Courts/uscourts.gov. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Herbert Kritzer, Justices on the Ballot: Continuity and Change in State Supreme Court Elections (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 1–2