"Selection of judges shall be based solely upon consideration of fitness for office without regard to any partisan political consideration."


Judicial nominating commissions are committees of lawyers and non-lawyers for each judicial district, including the appellate courts. Each commission consists of seven commissioners appointed by the Governor to serve a single four-year term. Each commissioner must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Utah, and a resident of the judicial district it is representing. Commissioners may not be a member of the Legislature and no more than four commissioners may be from the same political party. The Governor must appoint two commissioners from a list of nominees provided by the Utah State Bar. However, the Governor may not appoint more than four persons who are members of the Utah State Bar.


Nomination Steps

The Utah Constitution establishes merit selection as the exclusive method of choosing a state court judge. There are four steps in Utah's merit selection plan:

  • Nomination - made by a judicial nomination commission
  • Appointment by the Governor
  • Confirmation by the state senate &
  • Retention election

For more information regarding retention elections please visit the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.

Process & Review

Commission members review the applications for vacant judicial positions and select candidates to interview. After interviews have been conducted, the Commission refers five names (for district and juvenile court judges) or seven names (for appellate court judges) to the Governor. The Governor appoints one of the nominees who must then be confirmed by a majority of the Utah State Senate. Judicial Nominating Commissions are governed by the Utah Constitution, law, and administrative rules:


MEET THE commissions


Michelle Quist

Ann Marie Taliaferro

Nic Caine

Scott Petersen, Chair 

Delaina Tonks

Elaine Vickers

Shawn Newell

First Judicial District

Brandon Baxter 

Shannon Demler 

Jonathan Nash

Janette White, Chair

Joan Liquin 

Nancy Kennedy 

Ken Hull

Second Judicial District

Phil Ferguson 

Pam Vickrey, Chair

Ryan Bushell 

Erin Hill

Adrienne Andrews

Neka Roundy 

SuAnn Jenkins Harris

Third Judicial District

Lauren Barros 

Kim Carson 

Susan Johnsen 

Lesley Manley 

Jesse Nix 

Matt Osborne, Chair 

Sulieti Taufa

Fourth Judicial District

Sandra Dredge 

Ron Wilkinson, Chair 

Josh Baron 

Steve Killpack 

Linda Hanks 

Ann Zimmerman 

Debbie Hong

JoAnn Huber

Fifth Judicial District

Cindy Bulloch 

Marilee Eyre 

Nadine Hansen

Roland Hunter 

Ryan Stout 

David Westwood 

Katie Woods

Sixth Judicial District

Jeff Mosdell, Chair

Judy Busk

Judy Habbeshaw 

Casey Jewkes 

Aaron Peterson 

Jared Buhanan

Douglas Neeley

Seventh Judicial District

Joane Pappas White 

Craig Halls 

Christina Ross Sloan 

Happy Morgan 

Mark Holyoak, Chair 

Rebecca Benally 

James Nelson

Eighth Judicial District

Michael Harrington 

Erin Rawlings 

Carolyn Perkins 

Irene Hansen S

Sonja Norton