Section 1. JUDICIAL POWER. The judicial power of the state is vested in a supreme court, a court of appeals, if established by the legislature, a district court and such other courts, judicial officers and commissioners with jurisdiction inferior to the district court as the legislature may establish. [Amended, November 2, 1982]
Sec. 2. SUPREME COURT. The supreme court consists of one chief judge and not less than six nor more than eight associate judges as the legislature may establish. It shall have original jurisdiction in such remedial cases as are prescribed by law, and appellate jurisdiction in all cases, but there shall be no trial by jury in the supreme court.
The legislature may establish a court of appeals and provide by law for the number of its judges, who shall not be judges of any other court, and its organization and for the review of its decisions by the supreme court. The court of appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction over all courts, except the supreme court, and other appellate jurisdiction as prescribed by law.
As provided by law judges of the court of appeals or of the district court may be assigned temporarily to act as judges of the supreme court upon its request and judges of the district court may be assigned temporarily by the supreme court to act as judges of the court of appeals.
The supreme court shall appoint to serve at its pleasure a clerk, a reporter, a state law librarian and other necessary employees. [Amended, November 2, 1982]
Sec. 3. JURISDICTION OF DISTRICT COURT. The district court has original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases and shall have appellate jurisdiction as prescribed by law.
Sec. 4. JUDICIAL DISTRICTS; DISTRICT JUDGES. The number and boundaries of judicial districts shall be established in the manner provided by law but the office of a district judge shall not be abolished during his term. There shall be two or more district judges in each district. Each judge of the district court in any district shall be a resident of that district at the time of his selection and during his continuance in office.
Sec. 5. QUALIFICATIONS; COMPENSATION. Judges of the supreme court, the court of appeals and the district court shall be learned in the law. The qualifications of all other judges and judicial officers shall be prescribed by law. The compensation of all judges shall be prescribed by the legislature and shall not be diminished during their term of office. [Amended, November 2, 1982]
Sec. 6. HOLDING OTHER OFFICE. A judge of the supreme court, the court of appeals or the district court shall not hold any office under the United States except a commission in a reserve component of the military forces of the United States and shall not hold any other office under this state. His term of office shall terminate at the time he files as a candidate for an elective office of the United States or for a nonjudicial office of this state. [Amended, November 2, 1982]
Sec. 7. TERM OF OFFICE; ELECTION. The term of office of all judges shall be six years and until their successors are qualified. They shall be elected by the voters from the area which they are to serve in the manner provided by law.
Sec. 8. VACANCY. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of judge the governor shall appoint in the manner provided by law a qualified person to fill the vacancy until a successor is elected and qualified. The successor shall be elected for a six year term at the next general election occurring more than one year after the appointment.
Sec. 9. RETIREMENT, REMOVAL AND DISCIPLINE. The legislature may provide by law for retirement of all judges and for the extension of the term of any judge who becomes eligible for retirement within three years after expiration of the term for which he is selected. The legislature may also provide for the retirement, removal or other discipline of any judge who is disabled, incompetent or guilty of conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
Sec. 10. RETIRED JUDGES. As provided by law a retired judge may be assigned to hear and decide any cause over which the court to which he is assigned has jurisdiction.
Sec. 11. PROBATE JURISDICTION. Original jurisdiction in law and equity for the administration of the estates of deceased persons and all guardianship and incompetency proceedings, including jurisdiction over the administration of trust estates and for the determination of taxes contingent upon death, shall be provided by law.
Sec. 12. ABOLITION OF PROBATE COURT; STATUS OF JUDGES. If the probate court is abolished by law, judges of that court who are learned in the law shall become judges of the court that assumes jurisdiction of matters described in section 11.
Sec. 13. DISTRICT COURT CLERKS. There shall be in each county one clerk of the district court whose qualifications, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. He shall serve at the pleasure of a majority of the judges of the district court in each district.