Idaho Supreme Court Justice Joel Horton Announces Retirement

Jun 29, 2018



Justice Joel Horton was appointed to the court by Governor Butch Otter in 2007.

Idaho Supreme Court Justice Joel Horton announced he will retire at the end of the year. The Idaho native was appointed to the state’s highest court in 2007 by Governor Butch Otter. Come retirement, he will have spent 24 years in the state judicial system.

“It has truly been an honor to serve the State and all Idahoans for almost a quarter of a century in different roles in the Idaho courts,” Horton said in a statement to the press. “I am proud of the work that our judiciary accomplishes at all levels and to have been a part of that work.”


Horton obtained his law degree from the University of Idaho. He worked as a public prosecutor in Twin Falls and Ada County before becoming an Ada County Magistrate Judge in 1994. In 1996, then Governor Phil Batt appointed Horton to the district court, a position he held until ascending to the supreme court.


"It is difficult for me to contemplate this Court without Justice Horton's keen intellect and emphasis on civility,” Chief Justice Roger Burdick said in a statement.


Horton retained his seat in two statewide elections—in 2008 and 2014. He is retiring with two years left of his judicial term, which lasts until 2020. The governor will appoint a replacement to serve the rest of the term from a list of candidates provided by the Idaho Judicial Council.


Horton is the second Idaho Supreme Court justice to step down this year. Last month, Governor Butch Otter tapped John Stegner to replace former Justice Warren Jones.


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