As of March 14, there have been eight state supreme court vacancies or vacancy announcements in 2023 for judges whose replacements are chosen via appointment instead of election. Alaska, California, North Dakota, and Tennessee each have one state supreme court vacancy. Delaware and Missouri each have two state supreme court vacancies.
Two judges vacated their seats after being appointed to different offices. The remaining six judges retired or plan to retire in 2023. Two vacancies have been filled, and two appointments have been made but the replacement judges have not yet taken office. The remaining four vacancies have not yet been filled.
Three vacancies are in states where a Democratic governor makes the appointment. Five vacancies are in states where a Republican governor makes the appointment.
From 2019 to 2022, there were 89 state supreme vacancies for judges whose replacements are chosen via appointment instead of election. The vacancies were created when five judges were appointed to different offices, 79 judges retired, four judges died, and one judge lost a retention election. During those years, 37 vacancies were filled by a Democratic governor, 48 vacancies were filled by a Republican governor or Republican-controlled state legislature, and four vacancies were filled by a nonpartisan state supreme court.