By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
Gov. Brad Little announced Monday that First Judicial District Judge Cynthia Meyer will replace John Stegner on the Idaho Supreme Court.
The Idaho Judicial Council submitted four names to the governor after interviewing candidates on Oct. 18. In addition to Meyer, former Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, private practice attorney Christopher Graham and Fourth Judicial District Judge Diane M. Walker made the shortlist of names sent to the governor.
“Judge Meyer’s strong intellect and writing skills are just two qualities that will make her an excellent addition to the Idaho Supreme Court,” Little said in a Monday news release. “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.”
Gov. Butch Otter appointed Meyer to the First Judicial District court in 2015, where she was the first woman to hold the position. She is currently chambered in Kootenai County.
Before entering public office, Meyer practiced at and later became partner with the Coeur d’Alene law firm James, Vernon, and Weeks, P.A., according to the Governor’s Office. Meyer has nearly 30 years of experience representing individuals and businesses as litigation and general counsel. She also served as an adjunct instructor at North Idaho College between 2005 and 2009.
“I am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of our beautiful state as Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court. I want to thank Governor Little for his faith in me and entrusting me with this awesome responsibility, and I want to thank my family for their unwavering support. I have loved every day that I have served the people of northern Idaho as a district judge of the First Judicial District. I will miss my colleagues and court staff tremendously. I am committed to upholding the principles that make our judicial system so strong: the rule of law, justice, and fairness; and I will serve with integrity, with respect and dignity, and with humility,” Meyer said.
Meyer has been the presiding judge in recent controversial litigation over actions taken by North Idaho College’s board of trustees. That included the decision to reinstate NIC President Nick Swayne, following the board’s decision to fire and replace him.
Meyer is a graduate of the College of Idaho and the University of Utah College of Law.
Justice Stegner’s last day with the court was Oct. 31. He resigned in May, calling it a “bittersweet” decision. He plans to return to private practice as an attorney.
“The job requires extraordinary hours to do it well,” Stegner wrote in his resignation letter to Little. “In sum, the state is asking judges to do too much for too little.”
Meyer will carry out the remainder of Stegner’s term on the Idaho Supreme Court, which expires in January 2027.
“Justice Stegner was an esteemed member of the Idaho Supreme Court, whose extensive experience, dedication to justice, and love of Idaho has improved the lives of many Idahoans. I join many others in expressing deep appreciation for his 26 years of judicial service and wish him well in his retirement,” Governor Little said.