Sunday, December 10, 2023

EDITORIAL: Justice served with Meyer appointment

| November 15, 2023 1:00 AM

Coeur d’Alene’s loss is Idaho’s gain.

First Judicial District Judge Cynthia Meyer was recently appointed by Gov. Brad Little to the Idaho Supreme Court. Judge Meyer — who will be Justice Meyer after Jan. 1 — will serve the final three years of recently retired Justice John R. Stegner’s term. Idaho Supreme Court justices serve six-year terms.

An attorney rising to the very highest level of the state’s judicial system is akin to a Coeur d’Alene Little Leaguer not only eventually making it to the big leagues, but becoming a star at that level. Consider that the state’s Supreme Court is composed of just five people: a chief justice and four justices. When the new year dawns, Justice Meyer will be breathing rarefied air.

Those who have followed her career in the Lake City are thrilled for her, but not at all surprised. Gov. Little’s comments are spot on:

"Judge Meyer's strong intellect and writing skills are just two qualities that will make her an excellent addition to the Idaho Supreme Court. Her appointment will bring representation from North Idaho to the statewide Idaho Supreme Court and the materials I reviewed in considering her appointment are evidence she is widely respected by her peers and community as an intelligent, fair and competent jurist."

Jim Jones knows as well as anyone what challenges Judge Meyer will face. Jones, whose columns appear frequently in The Press, served as Idaho attorney general from 1983 to 1991. In 2004, he was elected to the Idaho Supreme Court, where he served two six-year terms. In 2015, he was elected by his peers as chief justice.

“She will do a fine job,” Jones said when asked about Meyer and what she can anticipate on the high court. "Justice Meyer will have four other competent, thoughtful legal minds to work with in deciding the full range of civil and criminal issues arising in the state. It will be challenging, but rewarding, to engage in collaborative decision-making. 

“Each justice can bring a different perspective to a case, which can broaden the outlook of the others. The atmosphere is more isolated than the district court, but decision making is not as rushed. It takes hard work, but it is an extremely rewarding experience to enrich the legal landscape in our diverse state."

All of North Idaho can be proud of Judge Meyer’s many accomplishments, now including this crowning achievement. She’s shined in judicial roles for some three decades, yet it’s safe to say her best days — and those for the Idahoans whose lives she’ll impact — are still ahead.

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