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Eye On Boise

Justice hopefuls on the role of a judge…

Each of the candidates for Idaho Supreme Court was asked how they see the job of being a judge, as they seek a seat on the state’s highest court; here are their answers:

Robyn Brody: “It’s the trial court’s job to make a decision, and it’s the appellate court’s job to get it right. I think you’ve got to take the time, you’ve got to think about it, deliberate, consider it.”

Sergio Gutierrez: “The trial judge is one who’s flying the spacecraft out into the universe beyond our world here, and having to maintain all those controls. As a trial judge, you’re having to act on the spot, make decisions. The appellate judge really is more like a surgeon,” who has to be "very careful and disciplined" in applying the law.

Curt McKenzie: “The role of the court is to fairly and impartially apply the law. … The trial judge has a dual role, both fact-finder and applying the law to that. At the appellate level … your role is to apply the law as it’s written to that fact matter.”

Clive Strong: “I would agree that the appellate court’s role is to apply the law to the facts that are before you. But I think it’s important to recognize” that appellate courts are also “creating precedent for the future. So it’s important that as the court issues its decision it ... doesn’t create unintended consequences, but does provide guidance for the future.”



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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