Idaho SC justice seeks full term

By Chris Rizo | Apr 10, 2008

Justice Joel Horton

BOISE-Idaho Supreme Court Justice Joel Horton of Boise is vying for a full term on the high court, after being appointed by the governor to fill out the unexpired term of a retiring justice less than a year ago.

Horton was a judge in the 4th Judicial District before being appointed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to the Supreme Court after Justice Linda Trout stepped down in August.

"My job is to be an arbiter, not a policy maker. I take that responsibility very seriously, and I look forward to earning the trust of all Idahoans," Horton said in a campaign statement.

Running for the same seat is Judge John Bradbury of Lewiston, a District Court judge in Idaho's 2nd Judicial District.

The two will face off in the state's May 27 primary election. But unlike partisan offices, the race for a seat on the state Supreme Court can be settled if one candidate is able to muster a majority of the vote, which is a certainty in a two-way race like this one.

Idaho's five Idaho Supreme Court justices serve six-year terms. They each earn $114,900 annually.

Robyn Brody, president of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, said unfortunately state Supreme Court races don't receive the attention they deserve.

"A Supreme Court is always important because there are five people on that court who have a very big influence on what Idaho law is and what direction it takes," Brody said from her office at Hepworth, Lezamiz & Janis in Twin Falls, Idaho.

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