Nebraska Supreme Court

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Nebraska Supreme Court
Seal of Nebraska.svg
Established 1841
Country Nebraska Nebraska, United States United States
Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Authorized by Nebraska Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Website [1]
Chief Justice
Currently Mike Heavican
Since 2006

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 unconstitutional a legislative provision (the 48 others states require a simple majority).[1]

The court’s justices[edit]

Selection of justices[edit]

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 justices[edit]

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

Chief justice[edit]

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.

Former justices[edit]

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[edit]

The court is housed in the Nebraska State Capitol on the second floor.

Notable cases[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′29″N 96°41′59″W / 40.808090°N 96.699587°W / 40.808090; -96.699587