Justice John Stegner Announces Retirement From Idaho Supreme Court

May 16, 2023

Justice John Stegner, who has been on the Idaho Supreme Court since 2018, announced that he will be retiring from the bench on October 31, 2023. 

In his letter to Idaho Governor Brad Little, Justice Stegner called retirement a “bittersweet decision” and cited the disparity in pay between judges and attorneys in private practice. “The job requires extraordinary hours to do it well,” and “in sum, the state is asking judges to do too much for too little,” he said. 

Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan said that Justice Stegner brought a “principled and deliberate approach to both the appeals we resolve and his vision of what Idaho’s courts should be.” 

The Idaho Supreme Court release stated that “Justice Stegner intends to serve as a senior justice in retirement until any pending appellate cases are resolved,” and that once he moves into private practice “he hopes to work in mediation, resolving disputes before they reach trial.”

Justice Stegner’s contributions to the Idaho Supreme Court have been invaluable, and his commitment to upholding the rule of law in Idaho will be greatly missed. However, his retirement also presents an opportunity for a new voice and a fresh perspective to be brought to the bench. Under state law, Governor Little will appoint a justice to replace Justice Stegner from a list of applicants provided by the Idaho Judicial Council. The new justice will serve the rest of Justice Stegner’s term, which ends in January 2027. A nonpartisan election for the next six-year term will be held in May 2026. 


Historically, in ruling on cases in which Gjording Fouser has been involved, Justice Stegner was an advocate for the jury resolving mixed questions of law and fact. A new justice may be more amenable to legal arguments and resolving litigation at earlier stages in the case. 

Please contact a Gjording Fouser lawyer at 208.336.9777 if you would like any additional information about this topic or any other issues facing your company.