The Supreme Court of Virginia is one of the oldest continuously active judicial bodies in the United States. It is deep rooted in the English legal system dating to the early seventeenth century. The Supreme Court of Virginia is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The court has seven Justices elected by a majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly for a term of twelve years. The Court consists of no fewer than seven Justices and no more than eleven Justices. Without concurrence of at least three Justices, no decision shall become the judgment of the Court. No law shall be declared unconstitutional under the Vermont Constitution or the Constitution of the United States except on the concurrence of at least a majority of all Justices of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court by virtue of Vermont constitution has original jurisdiction over those matters. Although the Supreme Court of Virginia possesses both original and appellate jurisdiction, its primary function is to review decisions of lower Courts, including the Court of Appeals, from which appeals have been allowed. The Court’s original jurisdiction is limited to cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, and writs of actual innocence based on biological evidence pursuant to Virginia’s Code § 19.2-327.2. It also has original jurisdiction for challenges to decisions of the State Corporation Commission pursuant to Article IX of the Constitution of Virginia. The Supreme Court also has original jurisdiction in matters filed by the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission relating to judicial censure, retirement, and removal of Judges.
Virginia Supreme Court Website: http://www.courts.state.va.us/