Updated: 2 days ago
In practice, they are appointed (not elected) by the Commission of Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE or "Jenny" Commission) which "assists" Governor Newsom in appointing judges. Who is the JNE Commission tied to? The JNE Commission colludes with The State Bar of California and you can find it on that website. How confident is California Governor Gavin Newsom in the selection process? Not at all. For example, attorney Patrick Hammon is on the JNE committee after allegedly having an affair with Bachelorette, Ali Fedotowski while the show was being filmed. His side of the story, "“I am not dating Ali” Ali's source? They were having an affair, “right when she got back from filming and even before she left". The Governor's alternative to the JNE Commission? He appointed 100 people to review the JNE Commission's reviews. How confident are we with the 100 people Governor Newsom selected? Not At All.
Judge do have term limits. The California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal judges are first appointed by Gov Newsom. However, at the very next general election they must be confirmed by the voters. However, it is a retention "yes" or "no" vote. They don't face an opponent. If the voters reject the judge, then Gov Newsom will appoint a new one. Otherwise, they generally serve a term of 12 years before coming up for re-election again.
California Superior "trial" court judges, are the judges you will most likely see. They serve staggered six-year terms. That means every two years. a third of these judges come up for re-election. However, it is rare that they face an opponent so the vast majority of trial court judges never appear on your local ballot. RaiseYourRights.org has a goal of picking the worst California family or juvenile dependency court judge each year and then we collect enough signatures from their California county to petition the local government to place his/her name on the local ballot. In 2018, we chose Judge Vincent Chiarello, for removing Alycia Mesiti from her mother with horrendous consequences. In 2020, we chose Judge Stuart J Scott.
Most judges leave or retire in the middle of a term, so that his/her vacant seat can be replaced by the JNE Commission of the state bar. In practice, almost all of California's judges, that hold elected offices, are actually appointed.