Justice Joel Horton announced Friday he will be retiring from the Idaho Supreme Court, effective December 31 of this year -- after serving more than twenty-four years in the Idaho judiciary.
An Idaho native, Horton earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, and then returned to Idaho to attend law school at the University of Idaho. Following graduation, his legal career included both private and public sector work in Lewiston, Twin Falls, and Boise. In May 1994, Horton was appointed as an Ada County Magistrate Judge, serving as a family law judge until his appointment to the district court in 1996 by Governor Phil Batt. He served as a District Judge until his appointment to the Idaho Supreme Court. In September of 2007, Governor "Butch" Otter appointed Justice Horton to succeed Justice Linda Copple Trout on the Court.
"It is difficult for me to contemplate this Court without Justice Horton's keen intellect and emphasis on civility. He has contributed to the jurisprudence of the Court due to the breadth of his experience as a lawyer -- including extensive prosecutorial experience -- and as a judge,” said Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick.
A new justice will be appointed by Governor Otter from a list of two to four names provided by the Idaho Judicial Council. The newly-appointed justice will serve out the remainder of the unexpired term, which ends in January of 2020.
A nonpartisan election to elect a justice for the next six-year term will be held next May.