Idaho will lose its only female Supreme Court justice this year, in part because of a judicial election system that has led to increasingly nasty and controversial campaigns. "That certainly was a factor in my decision. … I think it tarnishes the judiciary," said Justice Linda Copple Trout, who will retire from the court Aug. 31. She has served for 15 years, including two terms as chief justice. If she stayed on, Trout would be up for election again next year.
In her last re-election campaign in 2002, Trout was targeted in a last-minute TV attack ad campaign by an independent group, as was former Justice Cathy Silak two years earlier. Silak, the second woman to serve on the high court, was defeated. "The attacks from outside sources were very unfair and untrue," Trout said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with The Spokesman-Review. "I just think that's appalling." Trout said she now lacks "the fire and drive and ambition to put myself through that again." Read the full story here exclusively in today’s Spokesman-Review. Click here to read excerpts of what Trout had to say on an array of issues, from women on the court to cameras in the courtroom.