Under the provisions of the Constitution of New York, 1777, the justices of the New York Supreme Court had been holding traveling circuit courts. Under the Constitution of 1821, the state was divided in eight senatorial districts, so known because each district elected four senators, which were also used as judicial divisions. The circuit courts were organized by an act passed April 17, 1823. The circuit court judges were appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. The circuit courts ceased to exist on July 5, 1847, when the jurisdiction was taken over by the district benches of the New York Supreme Court the justices of which had been elected at the special judicial election in May 1847.