Vermont Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Skoglund is retiring on September 1, 2019.
Selection of Vermont Supreme Court justices occurs through assisted appointment. The governor appoints a justice from a list of names provided by a nominating commission. The appointed justice must be confirmed by the Vermont State Senate. Once confirmed, justices serve six-year terms. At the end of each term, justices face retention by a vote of the Vermont General Assembly. Skoglund’s replacement will be Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) second nominee to the five-member supreme court.
The Vermont Supreme Court is the court of last resort for the state. It currently includes the following justices:
- Justice Marilyn Skoglund – Appointed by Gov. Howard Dean (D)
- Justice Beth Robinson – Appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D)
- Justice Harold Eaton – Appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D)
- Justice Paul Reiber – Appointed by Gov. Jim Douglas (R)
- Justice Karen Carroll – Appointed by Gov. Phil Scott (R)
Skoglund joined the Vermont Supreme Court on August 27, 1997. She was the second woman to serve as an associate justice of this court. Skoglund served on the Vermont district court from 1994 to 1997. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1971. In lieu of attending law school, she completed a law-office clerkship at the Office of the Attorney General, where she served as assistant attorney general (1981-1989), chief of the Civil Law Division (1989-1993), and chief of the Public Protection Division (1993-1994).
In 2019, there have been 13 supreme court vacancies across eight of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Of those 13 vacancies, ten are in states where a Republican governor appoints the replacement. Two vacancies occurred in a state where a Democratic governor fills vacancies, while another occurred in a state where a Republican-controlled legislature appoints replacements.