Idaho Supreme Court

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Idaho Supreme Court
Seal of the Judicial Branch of Idaho.png
Established1863 - Territorial
1890 - State
Location451 W. State St.
Boise, Idaho
Composition methodnon-partisan state-wide staggered elections
Authorized byIdaho State Constitution
Appeals toU.S. Supreme Court
Judge term length6 years
4 years (Chief Justice)
Number of positions5
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief Justice
CurrentlyRoger S. Burdick
SinceJanuary 3, 2017

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]

Current justices[edit]

Position Name Appointed by Took office / Length of service Term expires Education, prior positions
Chief Justice Roger Burdick
Dirk Kempthorne
August 1, 2003
16 years, 10 months
January 2023
Colorado (1970); University of Idaho College of Law (1974); private practice at Webb, Pike, Burton & Carlson; deputy prosecutor for Ada County; private practice at Hart and Burdick, Jerome County prosecutor (1981); Magistrate in Jerome County (1981–93); District Judge in Twin Falls County, Idaho 5th Judicial District (1993–2003).
Associate Justice Robyn Brody
January 5, 2017
3 years, 4 months
January 2023
Denver (1992, 1997); Sturm College of Law (1997); private practice at Hepworth, Lezamis & Hohnhorst (1997–2010); sole practitioner (2010–17).
Associate Justice Richard Bevan
Butch Otter
September 27, 2017
2 years, 8 months
January 2025
BYU (1984); J. Reuben Clark Law School (1987); Twin 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 Justice John Stegner
Butch Otter
May 22, 2018
2 years
January 2021
Whitman College (1977); University of Idaho College of Law (1982); law 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 Justice Gregory Moeller
Butch Otter
January 3, 2019
1 year, 4 months
January 2021
BYU (1987); J. Reuben Clark Law School (1990); private practice at Rigby, Andrus & Moeller, Chtd. (1990–2009); District Judge in Madison County, Idaho 7th Judicial District (2009–18).

Women on the Supreme Court[edit]

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 Daniel T. 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; she is the only justice on the current court not first appointed.

List of chief justices[edit]

Name Years
Roger Burdick (2) 2017–present
Jim Jones 2015–2017
Roger Burdick 2011–2015
Daniel 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]

See also[edit]


  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.

External links[edit]

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