State supreme court vacancy count for November 2023

In this month’s state supreme court vacancy update, Ballotpedia tracked announced retirements, nominations, appointments, confirmations, and new justices taking office from November 1 to November 30, 2023. Ballotpedia tracks court vacancies in all 52 state supreme courts.

Announced retirements:

Two state supreme court justices announced their intention to retire from their state’s highest court in 2024.

  • On November 20, 2023, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger A. Page announced his plans to retire on August 31, 2024. Page’s retirement will give Governor Bill Lee (R) his third opportunity to nominate a justice to the state supreme court.
  • On November 29, 2023, Justice David A. Lowy announced he would resign from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on February 3, 2024. In a separate statement, Marty Meehan, president of the University of Massachusetts, announced that Lowy accepted a general counsel offer with the university. Lowy’s retirement will give Governor Maura Healey (D) her second opportunity to nominate a justice to the court. Lowy joins Elspeth Cypher, who announced in June 2023 that she plans to retire in January next year. Currently, all seven justices on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court were nominated by former Governor Charles Baker (R).

Two other retirements were previously announced for 2024, bringing the total of official retirements to four. At least five additional justices will be required to retire in 2024 due to mandatory retirement ages, but none have announced their official retirement date.

Candidates nominated/appointed:

Two candidates were nominated or appointed to serve as the successor to an outgoing justice.

  • On November 6, 2023, Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) appointed Judge Cynthia Meyer to the state’s supreme court. Meyer was one of four finalists chosen by the Idaho Judicial Council to fill the remainder of Justice Stegner’s term until January 2027. Prior to her appointment, Meyer served as a district judge for the First Judicial District in Idaho.
  • On November 8, 2023, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) nominated Melissa Beth Countway to the state’s highest court. Countway’s nomination will be subject to confirmation by the New Hampshire Executive Council. A public hearing is scheduled for November 29, 2023, with a confirmation vote likely in December 2023.

Nominees confirmed:

Two nominees were confirmed to the Hawaii Supreme Court on November 21, 2023. Lisa M. Ginoza and Vladimir P. Devens were confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate. Ginoza and Devens were Governor Joshua Green’s first and second nominations to the five-member Hawaii Supreme Court.

Justices sworn in:

Ginger Gooch was sworn into the Missouri Supreme Court on November 1, 2023. Governor Mike Parson (R) appointed Gooch to the Missouri Court of Appeals in November 2022, and to the Missouri Supreme Court in October 2023.

Other news:

The last outstanding 2022 state supreme court vacancy tracked by Ballotpedia was filled on November 7, 2023. Daniel McCaffery (D) won election to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He currently sits on the Pennsylvania Superior Court, one of two intermediate appellate courts in the commonwealth. McCaffery replaces former Chief Justice Max Baer (D), who passed away on September 30, 2022. Then-governor Tom Wolf (D) had the opportunity to nominate a replacement for Baer, subject to Pennsylvania State Senate confirmation. He did not nominate a replacement in time, so Baer’s former seat remained vacant until the 2023 election. The partisan balance of the court will remain 5-2 with a Democratic majority. McCaffery will be up for partisan election again in the 2033 Pennsylvania state supreme court elections.

Additional reading:

State supreme court vacancies, 2024

Tennessee Supreme Court justice vacancy (August 2024)

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justice vacancy (February 2024)

Idaho Supreme Court justice vacancy (October 2023)

New Hampshire Supreme Court justice vacancy (November 2023)

Hawaii Supreme Court justice vacancy (March 2023)

Hawaii Supreme Court justice vacancy (April 2023)

Missouri Supreme Court justice vacancy (October 2023)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice vacancy (September 2022)