Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of judge, a successor, who shall be a resident of the same circuit, shall be elected for a full term of eight years and upon qualification shall enter at once upon the discharge of the duties of his office. No person shall be elected or reelected to a subsequent term under this section until he has submitted to a criminal history record search and a report of such search has been received by the chairmen of the House and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice. Subject to the provisions of §§ 17.1-511 and 17.1-512, the Governor shall have the power while the General Assembly is not in session to fill pro tempore vacancies in such office. Such appointment to every vacancy shall be by commission to expire at the end of 30 days after the commencement of the next regular session of the General Assembly. No person with a criminal conviction for a felony shall be appointed as a judge.
Code 1919, § 5889, § 17-120; 1920, p. 123; 1924, p. 310; 1944, p. 95; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 27; 1973, c. 544; 1977, c. 197; 1998, c. 872; 2001, c. 256; 2004, c. 452.