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Idaho’s number of women judges stays even - last in nation

When Gov. Butch Otter today appointed Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Graham Norton to be a 4th District judge, replacing retiring Judge Darla Williamson, he kept the state's number of women judges the same - the lowest in the country, at just over 11 percent. Otter has appointed judges to 24 open positions on the state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and district courts; just two were women. However, the vast majority of the applicants for the positions were men. This time, of nine applicants, four were women; of the four finalists, two were female. In addition to Norton, the other finalists were Charles F. Peterson Jr., Christine M. Salmi, and Jeffrey A. Thomson. Click below to read Otter's full announcement about Norton's appointment.

C.L. “Butch” Otter

July 8, 2011                          

(BOISE) – Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter today named veteran Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Graham Norton to fill the Fourth District Court vacancy being left by the retirement of Boise-based Judge Darla Williamson.

Norton grew up in Alabama and received her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Alabama. She also has served 21 years as an attorney in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve, rising to the rank of colonel. Norton served with the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base from 2008 to 2010.

She was among four candidates submitted for the Governor’s consideration by the Idaho Judicial Council.  Norton and her husband, Einar, have four children.

“Lynn is respected and admired by her colleagues for her skills, for her work ethic, and for the important service she’s provided both in the military and in the prosecutor’s office,” Governor Otter said. “She has handled both civil and criminal cases with equal success and professionalism, and I particularly appreciate the job she’s done representing the prosecutor’s office in the Ada County Drug Court for several years. Our newest judge has my confidence and my appreciation for her willingness to serve.”

“There is nothing more important to the fabric of American society than the rule of law and the fair administration of justice,” Norton said. “The importance and integrity of the American system of justice is that the people have a fair, public, honest system where their disagreements can be decided, crimes can be prosecuted to protect the public, and those accused of crimes have the opportunity to have their cause heard by the court.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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