The chief justice is the administrative head of the unified judicial
system. The chief justice shall submit an annual consolidated budget for the entire unified
judicial system, and the total cost of the system shall be paid by the state. The Legislature may
provide by law for the reimbursement to the state of appropriate portions of such cost by
governmental subdivisions. The Supreme Court shall appoint such court personnel as it deems
necessary to serve at its pleasure.
The chief justice shall appoint a presiding circuit judge for each judicial circuit to serve at the
pleasure of the chief justice. Each presiding circuit judge shall have such administrative power as
the Supreme Court designates by rule and may, unless it be otherwise provided by law, appoint
judicial personnel to courts of limited jurisdiction to serve at his pleasure. Each presiding circuit
judge shall appoint clerks and other court personnel for the counties in his circuit who shall serve
at his pleasure at a compensation fixed by law. Duties of clerks shall be defined by Supreme Court
The chief justice shall have power to assign any circuit judge to sit on another circuit court, or
on the Supreme Court in case of a vacancy or in place of a justice who is disqualified or unable to
act. The chief justice may authorize a justice to sit as a judge in any circuit court.
The chief justice may authorize retired justices and judges to perform any judicial duties to the
extent provided by law and as directed by the Supreme Court.
History: 1889 Const., art. V, §§ 7, 12, 29, 32; amendment of § 7 proposed by SL 1913, ch 135,
rejected Nov., 1914; amendment of § 7 proposed by SL 1917, ch 158, approved Nov., 1918; new
section proposed by SL 1968, ch 223, rejected Nov. 5, 1968; amendment proposed by SL 1969, ch
243, § 40, approved Nov. 3, 1970; amendment proposed by SL 1972, ch 2, approved Nov. 7, 1972.