In a first, more women than men apply to Idaho high court
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — For the first time in state history more women have applied for the Idaho Supreme Court than men.
The Idaho Press reports that six women and five men applied for the open spot on the bench, including three women who have been finalists for previous positions on the high court. The winning candidate will replace current Justice Joel Horton, who is set to retire Dec. 31.
Idaho ranks next-to-last in the nation for the number of women in its judiciary, and just 17 percent of the state’s judges are women. Arkansas is last at 15 percent, according to 2016 numbers from the National Association of Women Judges.
Gov. Butch Otter has appointed numerous, judges including four Supreme Court justices since he took office in 2007. But he’s not yet appointed a woman to the high court. Otter recently told the Idaho Press that he wants the best jurist, but it would “delight” him if, once all factors were weighed, “the best candidate was a woman.”
The Idaho Judicial Council will hold public interviews with all the applicants this fall, and recommend up to four finalists to Otter. The 11 applicants for the new Idaho Supreme Court opening are: Boise lawyers Thomas Banducci, Amanda K. Brailsford, Christopher P. Graham, Rebecca Rainey, Christine Salmi and Mary York; Idaho Division of Human Resources Administrator Susan Buxton; 1st District Judge Richard Christensen of Coeur d’Alene; 7th District Judge Gregory Moeller of Rexburg; Micron Technology senior director of patent licensing and European litigation David Westergard; and 3rd District Judge Susan Wiebe of Fruitland.
Salmi, Wiebe and Moeller were finalists for the last opening on the high court; Rainey and Moeller were finalists for the previous opening last fall.
Information from: Idaho Press, http://www.idahopress.com