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Idaho Supreme Court

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Idaho Supreme Court
Seal of the Judicial Branch of Idaho.png
Established1863 - Territorial
1890 - State
Location451 W. State St.
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Composition methodnon-partisan state-wide staggered elections
Authorized byIdaho State Constitution
Judge term length6 years
4 years (Chief Justice)
Number of positions5
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief Justice
CurrentlyG. Richard Bevan
SinceJanuary 1, 2021

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 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

Justice Born Joined Chief Justice Term ends Appointed by Law school
G. Richard Bevan, Chief Justice (1959-05-05) May 5, 1959 (age 63) September 27, 2017 2021–present 2024 Butch Otter (R) BYU
Robyn Brody (1970-02-13) February 13, 1970 (age 52) January 2, 2017 2028 [a] University of Denver
John Stegner (1953-11-08) November 8, 1953 (age 69) May 22, 2018 2026 Butch Otter (R) Idaho
Gregory W. Moeller (1963-05-01) May 1, 1963 (age 59) January 3, 2019 2026 Butch Otter (R) BYU
Colleen Zahn (1973-10-07) October 7, 1973 (age 49) July 1, 2021 2028 Brad Little (R) Idaho
  1. ^ Took office after being elected in a nonpartisan election.

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

Name Years
G. Richard Bevin 2021–present
Roger Burdick (2) 2017–2020
Jim Jones 2015–2017
Roger Burdick 2011–2015
Dan Eismann 2007–2011
Gerald Schroeder 2004–2007
Linda Copple Trout 1997–2004
Charles McDevitt 1993–1997
Robert Bakes 1989–1993
Allan Shepard 1987–1989
Charles Donaldson 1983–1987
  • 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


  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

This page was last edited on 26 January 2023, at 01:10
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