Idaho’s highest court is the Idaho Supreme Court. The court has four justices and one chief justice, who is selected by a majority of the other justices to serve a four-year term. (Source: Idaho Constitution)
Justices are chosen for the Idaho Supreme Court through a nonpartisan election, where multiple candidates may vie for the seat. The elected justice serves a six-year term and may seek additional terms through nonpartisan elections. When a seat on the court opens in the middle of a justice’s term, the governor appoints a judicial candidate from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. The appoinnted justice holds office for the remainder of the unexpired term. There are no term limits, nor is there a mandatory retirement age.
Idaho’s first and only constitution was adopted in 1889. As of January 1, 2022, it had 127 amendments. (Source: Council of State Governments)
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State courts — and to some degree federal courts — play a significant role in every stage of the direct democracy process.
Courts are considering new foundations for abortion rights, while incremental challenges may slowly chip away at Dobbs.
Though advocates have found early success in federal courts, they may find even more effective ways to protect LGBTQ+ rights through state courts.
In striking down an abortion ban in South Carolina and upholding one in Idaho, state high courts are grappling with the use of history in constitutional interpretation.