Composed of the chief justice and eight justices, the Supreme Court of Texas is the court of last resort for civil matters in the state. The Supreme Court is in Austin.
Supreme Court justices are elected to staggered six-year terms in statewide elections. When a vacancy arises the governor may appoint a Justice, subject to Senate confirmation, to serve the remainder of an unexpired term until the next general election. Justices must be at least 35 years old, a citizen of Texas, licensed to practice law in Texas and must have practiced law (or have been a lawyer and a judge of a court of record together) for at least ten years.
In addition to adjudicating civil cases, the Supreme Court hears certain juvenile criminal cases. The Supreme Court also has constitutional authority for administration of the State's judicial systems.
Justices are elected statewide. The designations Place 1, Place 2, etc. are a convenience. The Chief Justice is always Place 1 and is elected as Chief. The Court is entirely Republican, and has been so for several election cycles. In a 2012 study published by Stanford University, the Texas Supreme Court was listed as the third most conservative in the nation.
In 2018, three Places are being elected: 2, 4, and 6.