Nebraska Supreme Court
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
|Nebraska Supreme Court|
|Country||Nebraska , United States|
|Authorized by||Nebraska Constitution|
|Decisions are appealed to||Supreme Court of the United States|
The Nebraska Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Nebraska. The court consists of a chief justice and six associate justices. Each justice is initially appointed by the governor of Nebraska; using the Missouri Plan, each justice is then subject to a retention vote for additional six-year terms. The six justices each represent a Supreme Court district; the chief justice is appointed (and retained) at-large.
Unlike most other states, with the exception of North Dakota, the Nebraska Supreme Court requires a supermajority of five justices of the seven to rule on a matter. Most states require a simple majority.
The court’s justices
Selection of justices
The court consists of a chief justice and six associate justices. The six justices each represent a Supreme Court district. If a position becomes vacant, the judicial nominating commission, made up of four lawyers and four non-lawyers, holds a hearing to select potential candidates. The commission then submits two names to the Nebraska Governor, who then determines the replacing judge. If the Governor does not follow through with this responsibility within 60 days of receiving the nominees, the responsibility then goes to Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. To retain the office, a judge must run in a retention election in the first general election that occurs after more than three years of serving in the office. Additionally, the judge must run every six years to retain his seat. When a judge runs for retention in office, the question presented on the voters’ ballots states: “Shall Judge___________be retained in office?” If the judge receives less than 50% of the affirmative vote, the judge is not retained. There is no mandatory retirement age for Nebraska judges, but they are granted retirement at age 65 or earlier, if it is due to disability.Supreme Court of Nebraska Courts Guide
Applicants for positions on all levels of Nebraska courts must meet a number of requirements in order to be appointed to office. Each person must be a U.S. citizen, be at least 30 years of age, and have practiced law a minimum of five years in the State of Nebraska. The person must also be currently admitted to practice before the Nebraska Supreme Court. For the Nebraska Judicial Nominating Commission manual, click here.
Current members of Nebraska Supreme Court are:
|Name||Elected/Appointed||Term expires||District||Appointing Governor||Appointing Governor's Political Affiliation|
|Chief Justice Mike Heavican||October 2006||January 2017||–||Dave Heineman||Republican|
|Kenneth Stephan||March 1997||January 2019||District 1||Ben Nelson||Democrat|
|Lindsey Miller-Lerman||September 1998||January 2020||District 2||Ben Nelson||Democrat|
|William B. Cassel||April 2012||January 2017||District 3||Dave Heineman||Republican|
|Michael McCormack||March 1997||January 2019||District 4||Ben Nelson||Democrat|
|William Connolly||December 1994||January 2017||District 5||Ben Nelson||Democrat|
|John Wright||February 1994||January 2017||District 6||Ben Nelson||Democrat|
Mike Heavican is the Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court by Governor Dave Heineman, a Republican, and assumed office as the court's presiding justice on October 2, 2006. He was retained in 2010. The Chief Justice is appointed (and retained) at-large.
A list can be found here.
As of 2010, the Associate Justices and Chief Justice earn $142,760 annually. National Center for the State Courts, Salary Comparisons, Nebraska
History of the court
The court is housed in the Nebraska State Capitol on the second floor.
- Chicago B. & Q.R. Co. v. Krayenbuhl: Liability
- Meyer v. Nebraska: Due process
- Nebraska Press Assn. v. Stuart: Free speech