The Supreme Court of Oregon is the highest court in the Oregon judicial system. The Court has seven elected Justices. The Judges of the Supreme Court are elected by voters of the state for a term of six years. The Justices must be citizens of the United States; have resided in the State at least three years preceding their election, and remain in their respective districts for three years after their election. The elected Justices choose one among themselves as the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice is responsible for all administration of the Supreme Court. The compensation of Judges shall not be diminished during the term for which they are elected.
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the following matters:
- Direct review of Circuit Court decisions in death penalty cases;
- Direct review from decisions of the Oregon Tax Court;
- Discretionary review of Court of Appeals decisions and certified questions from the Court of Appeals;
- Direct review of certain agency proceedings, including prison siting decisions, energy Facility Siting Council decisions, and certain solid waste disposal site selection decisions;
- Direct but discretionary review of certified questions of law from a Federal Court or court of another state; and
- Original jurisdiction when it comes to issuing writs of mandamus, habeas corpus, and quo warranto.
The Supreme Court is also empowered to:
- Appoint retired judges of the Supreme Court or judges of courts inferior to the Supreme Court as temporary members of the Supreme Court;
- Appoint members of the bar as judges pro tempore of courts inferior to the Supreme Court; and
- Assign Judges of courts inferior to the Supreme Court to serve temporarily outside the district for which they were elected.
In the case of a vacancy, the Governor may fill the seat with an appointment. Any interim justices so appointed must stand for election at the next general election more than 60 days after appointment. The Governor may remove from Office a Judge of the Supreme Court upon the Joint resolution of the Legislative Assembly, in which two thirds of the members elected to each house concur, for reason of incompetence, corruption, malfeasance, or delinquency in office, or other sufficient cause.