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Utah Supreme Court Justice

  • Utah

Applications are now being accepted for the position of justice in the Supreme Court. This position results from the retirement of Justice Constandinos (Deno) Himonas, March 1, 2022.

Applications must be submitted online by Friday, December 10, 2021.

Applicants must submit:  (1) a completed application form;  (2) a legal writing sample of no more than 10 pages (writing sample may be an excerpt); and (3) a two-page essay addressing the following question:  What role do the courts have in promoting public confidence in the institutions of government and the rule of law? How would your work as a Supreme Court justice fit into that role?

To apply go to judicialvacancy.utah.gov and complete the online judicial application form. If you have any questions, please contact Monica Taylor at 801-538-1856 or .

Utah law requires the Judicial Nominating Commission to submit five nominees to the Governor within 45 days of its first meeting. The Governor has 30 days in which to make a selection. The Utah State Senate has 60 days in which to approve or reject the governor’s selection. To obtain the procedures of Judicial Nominating Commissions and the names of Commission members call (801) 538-1856.

At its first meeting, the Nominating Commission accepts public comments about the judiciary.

A. Benefits

Minimum Requirements: Under Article VIII, Section 7 of the Utah Constitution, Supreme Court justices must be at least 30 years old, and judges of other courts of records must be at least 25 years old.

Residency: All justices and judges must be United State citizens. Supreme Court justices must be Utah residents for at least five years immediately preceding selection. Judges of other courts of record must be residents of Utah for at least three years preceding selection.

Practice of Law: All justices and judges must be admitted to practice law in Utah, but need not actually engage in the practice of law.

Retirement Program:  Judges are able to retire at any age with 25 years service; at age 62 with 10 years service; or at age 70 with 6 years service. Retirement amount is calculated on the basis of years of service and an average of the last 2 years of salary. Judges receive 5% of their final average salary for each of their first 10 years of service, 2.25% of their average salary for each year from 11 to 20 years of service, and 1% of their final average salary for each year beyond 20 years to a maximum of 75%.

The annual salary is $193,050 for a Supreme Court Justice  – 20 days paid vacation per year  – 11 paid holidays – $25,000 term life insurance policy (with an option to purchase $300,000 more at group rates) – Choice of medical and dental plans. All plans require a small employee contribution.

B. Judicial Retention

Each judge is subject to an unopposed, nonpartisan retention election at the first general election held more than 3 years after the appointment. To be retained, the judge must receive a majority of affirmative votes cast. This means that newly appointed judges will serve at least 3, but not more than 5 years prior to standing for their first retention election.

Following the first retention election, trial court and appellate judges appear on the retention ballot every 6 years. Supreme Court Justices stand for retention every 10 years.

C. Performance Evaluation

Judges are evaluated by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission twice during each term of office (with the exception of Supreme Court justices, who are evaluated three times during each term). Judges use the first evaluation for education and self-improvement purposes; this evaluation is never made public. The second (or last) evaluation provides the Commission with information on which to base a retention recommendation and the public with information on which to base its votes. The retention evaluation report is published both in the Voter Information Pamphlet and online at  judges.utah.gov . Elements of the evaluation include surveys of attorneys, court personnel, and jurors; courtroom observations by citizens; and compliance with judicial conduct standards as well as other standards established by the judiciary. If a judge meets all minimum performance standards, a rebuttable presumption arises that the Commission will recommend that judge for retention.

To apply for this job please visit judicialvacancy.utah.gov.