NCSC launches revised, expanded judicial salary information
Few of our publications get as much attention as our biannual Survey of Judicial Salaries.
Twice a year, NCSC asks HR and budget officials in state administrative offices to provide current salaries for judges at three different levels. Salaries are captured for general jurisdiction judges; court of appeals judges; and court of last resort associate justices. That information gets collected, compiled and analyzed before being published on NCSC’s website. The January 2023 edition of the Survey is now live, and it includes data from the states, the District of Columbia, and four of the five territories. NCSC offers both an online presentation of the data as well as a downloadable PDF.
Because NCSC has been collecting and publishing this information since the 1970s, we have a wealth of historical data that we can display alongside current salaries to show a decade’s worth of information with just a click of a button. We know this type of comparative information may be especially useful in highlighting where some jurisdictions have lagged in judicial pay. For instance, the data reveals that judges in West Virginia went without a raise between 2013 and 2022.
Users can also turn to this new tool to look at how jurisdictions have fared annually in national rankings since 2013. One example is looking at Alaska, where you can see that general jurisdiction judges ranked fifth in judicial pay in 2013, but a decade later they slipped to 14th.
Consumers of judicial salary data may also want to know how states set judicial salaries. NCSC has compiled that information as well. A new online table provides detailed state-by-state information on whether salaries are set by constitution, statute, a commission, or some blend of methods. The table also provides granular detail on which of the 25 states use commissions, and which format they use. Looking at the table, you can see that only one state—Arkansas—has a judicial salary commission that is binding and cannot be overridden by either the legislature or voters. Washington’s commission is binding as well, though its recommendations can be overridden, but only by voters.
Discover more insightful data on judicial salaries at ncsc.org/salarytracker.
CCJ President Loretta H. Rush addresses ABA House of Delegates
Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) President Loretta H. Rush stressed the importance of the mental health crisis, civics education, and new technology during her address to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) House of Delegates on February 6.
The Indiana chief justice spoke of the work of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness and its work with local, state, and national stakeholders to reduce the number of individuals entering the criminal justice system for mental health treatment and services.
Chief Justice Rush also discussed how courts are embracing new technology and the need for stronger civics education and improving media literacy to emphasize the significant role state courts and state constitutions have in shaping law, forming precedent, and protecting constitutional rights.