Judges in Wyoming are appointed by the governor, from a list of three candidates selected by the Judicial Nominating Commission. After a period of service, judges “stand for retention,” meaning they ask citizens to vote to retain them on the bench. This system is the “merit selection” or the Missouri plan. Supreme Court justices stand for retention every 8 years, district court judges every 6 years and circuit court judges every 4 years. If a judge is not retained, the judgeship is filled by the regular appointment process. Judges may not campaign but may respond to attacks.
The Wyoming State Bar asks attorneys to critique all the judges and then asks them to say if the ones standing for retention should stay or go. The Judicial Advisory Poll is posted on the Bar’s Website www.wyomingstatebar.org in October of election years. The Wyoming Supreme Court is the appeals court for the whole state. All Supreme Court justices standing for retention appear on every ballot statewide. District and circuit court judges standing for retention are listed on the ballots in their jurisdictions—none are up for retention in Albany County this year. Listed below are the three Wyoming Supreme Court justices standing for retention.
Catherine M. Fox
Keith G. Kautz
William U. Hill