The Idaho Supreme Court is the state supreme court of Idaho and is composed of the chief justice and four associate justices.

The decisions of the Idaho Supreme Court are binding on all other Idaho state courts. The only court that may reverse or modify its decisions is the Supreme Court of the United States.

Justices

Justices are elected in non-partisan statewide elections and serve staggered six-year terms. Elections are held in the state primary, now in the spring, with run-off elections in November. The Chief Justice is selected by an election among the five justices and term length for that office is four years.[1] Prior to 1983, the position went to the justice with the least amount of time remaining in his term.[2]

The court originally had three justices; it was expanded to five in 1921.

Current justices

PositionNameBornAppointed byTook office / Length of serviceChief JusticeTerm expiresCollegeLaw schoolPrior positions
Chief JusticeG. Richard Bevan (1959-05-05) May 5, 1959 (age 63)
Twin Falls, Idaho
September 27, 2017
4 years, 11 months
2021–present
January 2025
BYUBYUTwin Falls County prosecutor (1993–97); private practice at Hillifield & Bevan (1997–2003); District Judge in Twin Falls County, Idaho 5th Judicial District (2003–17).
Associate JusticeRobyn Brody (1970-02-13) February 13, 1970 (age 52)
Wayne, Michigan
Elected
January 5, 2017
5 years, 8 months
January 2029
University of DenverUniversity of DenverPrivate practice at Hepworth, Lezamis & Hohnhorst (1997–2010); sole practitioner (2010–17).
Associate JusticeJohn Stegner (1953-11-08) November 8, 1953 (age 68)
Grangeville, Idaho
Butch Otter (R)
May 22, 2018
4 years, 4 months
January 2027
Whitman CollegeIdahoLaw clerk for Judge Harold Ryan, U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho (1982–84); private practice at Clements, Brown and McNichols, P.A. and counsel for the University of Idaho (1989–96); District Judge in Latah County, Idaho 2nd Judicial District (1996–2018).
Associate JusticeGregory W. Moeller (1963-05-01) May 1, 1963 (age 59)
Los Angeles, California
Butch Otter (R)
January 3, 2019
3 years, 8 months
January 2027
BYUBYUPrivate practice at Rigby, Andrus & Moeller, Chtd. (1990–2009); District Judge in Madison County, Idaho 7th Judicial District (2009–18).
Associate JusticeColleen Zahn (1973-10-07) October 7, 1973 (age 48)
July 1, 2021
1 year, 2 months
January 2029
IdahoIdaho

Women on the Supreme Court

The first female justice on the Idaho Supreme Court was Linda Copple Trout, appointed in 1992 by Governor Cecil Andrus and elected in 1996 and 2002. She remains as the state’s only female chief justice (1997–2004). The second female justice was Cathy Silak, appointed by Andrus in 1993 and elected in 1994. She lost her reelection bid in 2000 to Dan Eismann and became the first incumbent justice from the court to be defeated since 1944.[3][4]

After Trout’s retirement in 2007, no women were on the court until the election of Robyn Brody in 2016 to a vacant seat, the first by a female; she is the only justice on the current court not first appointed. Colleen Zahn joined the court in 2021, appointed by Governor Brad Little; Brody and Zahn ran unopposed in 2022.

List of chief justices

NameYears
G. Richard Bevin2021–present
Roger Burdick (2)2017–2020
Jim Jones2015–2017
Roger Burdick2011–2015
Dan Eismann2007–2011
Gerald Schroeder2004–2007
Linda Copple Trout1997–2004
Charles McDevitt1993–1997
Robert Bakes1989–1993
Allan Shepard1987–1989
Charles Donaldson1983–1987
  • Election by peers began in 1983.[2]

Video coverage

The Idaho Supreme Court first permitted live video and audio coverage from its chambers in late 1978.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Russell, Betsy Z. (July 15, 2015). “Justice Jim Jones to be Idaho Supreme Court’s next chief justice, as of Aug. 1”. Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  2. ^ a b “Donaldson is first elective chief justice”. Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. January 4, 1983. p. 4D.
  3. ^ “Otter emerges from GOP crowd in Idaho primary”. Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. May 24, 2000. p. B5.
  4. ^ “Statewide judicial vote by county”. State of Idaho. Secretary of State, Election Division. May 23, 2000. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  5. ^ “Idaho Supreme Court will open its doors to cameras”. Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 30, 1978. p. 14A.

External links

Coordinates: 43°36′58″N 116°11′49″W / 43.616°N 116.197°W / 43.616; -116.197