The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 4. Justices
(a) The Supreme Court shall consist of one Chief Justice and four Associate Justices, appointed in accordance with the Constitution and chapter 15 of this title or retained in office under subsection (c) of this section.
(b) When the Office of Chief Justice becomes vacant for any reason, the duties of that Office shall forthwith devolve upon the Justice with the longest period of service on the Supreme Court until the appointment of a Chief Justice in accordance with the Constitution.
(c) A Supreme Court Justice may file in the Office of the Secretary of State, on or before September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term for which he or she was appointed or retained, a declaration that he or she will be a candidate for retention. However, a Justice appointed and having taken the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office shall automatically be a candidate for retention without filing notice. When a Justice files such a declaration, his or her name shall be submitted to the General Assembly for a vote on retention. The General Assembly shall vote upon one ballot on the question "Shall the following Supreme Court Justices be retained in office?" The names of the Justices shall be followed by "Yes __ No __ ." If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retention, upon expiration of the term of office a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled by appointment in accordance with the Constitution and chapter 15 of this title; if the majority vote is in favor of retention, the Justice shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for another term, and, at its end, shall be eligible for retention in office in the manner herein prescribed.
(d) The Court Administrator shall notify the Secretary of State whenever a Justice is appointed and takes the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office to which the Justice has succeeded thereby resulting in automatic notification of an intention to continue in office. Whenever a Justice files a declaration under subsection (c) of this section, or notification occurs automatically, the Secretary of State shall notify the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Office of Legislative Counsel, and the Office of Legislative Operations forthwith. (Amended 1967, No. 306 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1969, No. 125, § 8; 1975, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1981, No. 3, § 1; 1985, No. 98, § 1; 2019, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 21.)