Judicial Power

Section 1. Courts. The judicial power of this State shall be vested in a Supreme Judicial Court, and such other courts as the Legislature shall from time to time establish.

Section 2. Compensation. The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Judges of other courts shall, at stated times receive a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office; but they shall receive no other fee or reward for their services as Justices or Judges.

Section 3. To give opinion when required by Governor or either Branch of the Legislature. The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court shall be obliged to give their opinion upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions, when required by the Governor, Senate or House of Representatives.

Section 4. Tenure of judicial officers; 6-month holdover period. All judicial officers appointed by the Governor shall hold their offices for the term of 7 years from the time of their respective appointments (unless sooner removed by impeachment or by address of both branches of the Legislature to the executive, provided further that justices of the peace may be removed from office in such manner as the Legislature may provide); provided, however, that a judicial officer whose term of office has expired or who has reached mandatory retirement age, as provided by statute, may continue to hold office until the expiration of an additional period not to exceed 6 months or until the successor to the judicial officer is appointed, whichever occurs first in time.

Section 5. Limitation on holding other office. No Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court or any other court shall hold office under the United States or any other state, nor under this State, except as justice of the peace or as member of the Judicial Council.

Section 6. Judges and registers of probate, election and tenure; vacancies. Judges and registers of probate shall be elected by the people of their respective counties, by a plurality of the votes given in, at the biennial election on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November, and shall hold their offices for 4 years, commencing on the first day of January next after their election. Vacancies occurring in said offices by death, resignation or otherwise, shall be filled by election in manner aforesaid at the November election, next after their occurrence; and in the meantime, the Governor may fill said vacancies by appointment, and the persons so appointed shall hold their offices until the first day of January next after the election aforesaid.

Note: Section 6 of Article VI has been repealed by Amendment which by virtue of Chapter 77 of the Resolves of the One Hundred and Third Legislature, 1967 "shall become effective at such time as the Legislature by proper enactment shall establish a different Probate Court system with full-time judges."