Code of the District of Columbia

§ 11–1501. Appointment and qualifications of judges.

(a) The President of the United States shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint all judges of the District of Columbia courts. The President shall have power to fill all vacancies that may occur in those courts during a recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Senate.

(b) A person may not be appointed a judge of a District of Columbia court unless that person —

(1) is a citizen of the United States;

(2)(A) is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and (B) (i) has been a member of such bar for a period of at least five years, or (ii) in the case of a professor of law in a law school in the District of Columbia or of an attorney employed in the District of Columbia by the United States or the District of Columbia, has been eligible for membership in the bar of the District of Columbia for at least five years prior to appointment;

(3) has been actively engaged, for at least five of the ten years immediately prior to appointment, as an attorney in the practice of law in the District of Columbia, as a judge of a District of Columbia court, as a professor of law in a law school in the District of Columbia, or as an attorney employed in the District of Columbia by the United States or the District of Columbia; and

(4) is a bona fide resident of the area consisting of the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties (and any cities within the outer boundaries thereof) and the city of Alexandria in Virginia and has maintained an actual place of abode in such area for at least five years prior to appointment.

During term of service and for one year after the termination thereof, no member of the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure shall be eligible for nomination or appointment to a District of Columbia court.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 491, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 111; Dec. 7, 1970, 84 Stat. 1390, Pub. L. 91-530, § 2(a)(4); June 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103-266, §§ 1(b)(18), (19), 108 Stat. 713.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 11-1501.

1973 Ed., § 11-1501.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-204.33.

Cross References

District Charter provisions relating to District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission, see § 1-204.34.

District Charter provisions relating to nomination and appointment of judges, see § 1-204.33.

Editor's Notes

Vacancies in certain District courts on July 29, 1970: Section 195(c) of Pub. L. 91-358 provided for the qualifications and 15-year term of office of any judge appointed to fill any vacancy which existed on July 29, 1970, in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions, or the Juvenile Court of the District of Columbia.

Supersedure of section: The provisions of this section have been superseded by § 433 of the District Charter (See the Appendix to Title II).

Appointment of additional judges to Court of Appeals: Section 195(a)(1) of Pub. L. 91-358 provided for the appointment of 3 additional judges to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, by the President of the United States and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve a term of 15 years.

Appointment of additional judges to Court of General Sessions: Section 195(a)(2) of Pub. L. 91-358 provided for the appointment of 10 additional judges to the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions, by the President of the United States and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve a term of 15 years.

Appointment of Executive Officer: Section 195(b) of Pub. L. 91-358 provided for the appointment, and compensation, and removal of the Executive Officer of the District of Columbia courts.

Termination of Federal Disclosure Requirements: See Pub. L. 99-573, § 6.