District of Columbia

District of Columbia Court of Appeals By The Numbers:


Former prosecutor

Former public defender


  • 9 total seats
  • 1 current vacancy
  • 3 prosecutors
  • 3 public defenders
  • 0 Judges have other indigent defense experience
  • 0 civil rights lawyers

How Members of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals are Selected:

Appointment, Legislative Confirmation, Commission Retention

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (JNC), consisting of seven members who serve six-year terms, evaluates applicants for vacancies and submits a recommendation of three candidates to the President of the United States. The seven JNC members are selected by the President, the D.C. Mayor, the D.C. City Council, the Chief Justice of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the District of Columbia Bar Association. Appointees must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Confirmed judges serve a term of 15 years. The DC Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure determines a judge’s eligibility for reappointment at the end of their term. “Well qualified” judges are automatically reappointed, “qualified” judges go through the same process as they did for their initial appointment, and “unqualified” judges are not considered for reappointment.

Selection method sources:

Ballotpedia, Judicial Election Methods By State, District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (JNC); Brennan Center for Justice, Judicial Selection: An Interactive Map