The answer is: It depends on the court. There are two major court systems in the United States. On one track, federal courts decide cases that involve parties from different states, federal laws, or constitutional rights. The federal courts are split into two categories: Article I courts, and Article III courts. The alternative (and more commonly used) system of courts are the state courts, which decide cases that involve state law, as well as other cases that do not fall within federal courts' jurisdiction.
Federal Article III Judges
Article III courts are general trial courts and can hear any kind of federal case. These include the federal trial courts, appellate courts, and the Supreme Court. The judges for these courts are nominated by the President and confirmed by Congress. Once in office, the judges can remain in their positions for life.
Federal Article I Judges
Article I courts are created by Congress to administer the laws that Congress writes. These can include bankruptcy courts, tax courts, and certain military courts. Judges are appointed by Congress and serve for 10 years, after which they may be reappointed.
How state court judges are selected varies by state. States choose judges in any of the following ways:
Contact a qualified attorney.