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State supreme court

In the United States, the state supreme court is usually the highest court
in the state court system. (See also supreme court.)

Generally, the state supreme court is exclusively for appeals and holds no
trials. The court consists of a panel of judges, either appointed by the
Government, or elected by the state legislature or the people for a limited
term. Some states use what is known as the Missouri Plan where the governor
appoints a judge for a single term who must then receive voter approval for
any successive terms.

Under the American system of federalism, the interpretation of a state
supreme court on a matter of state law is final and binding and must be
accepted in both state and federal courts. Federal courts may only overrule
a state court when there is a federal question.

In New York and Maryland, the highest court of the state is called the Court
of Appeals. (In New York, the name Supreme Court is used for a trial court.)
In West Virginia, the highest court of the state is called the Supreme Court
of Appeals. Oklahoma has two separate highest courts, one for criminal
appeals and one for civil cases. The former is called the Court of Criminal
Appeals. The later is called the Supreme Court.

States with Partisan Elections

   * Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi,
     New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas,
     West Virginia

States with Non-partisan Elections

   * Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana,
     Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin

States with election by the Legislature

   * Connecticut, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia

States with Appointment by the Governer

   * Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey

States using the Missouri Plan

   * Alaska, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri,
     Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming
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