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


Judicial nominating commissions help select candidates for judicial vacancies. There is a nominating commission for each judicial district, including the appellate courts. Each commission consists of seven commissioners appointed by the Governor to serve a four-year term. Each commissioner must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Utah, and a resident of the judicial district the commission is representing. Commissioners may not be members of the state Legislature and may not serve successive terms.


Nomination Steps

The Utah Constitution establishes merit selection as the exclusive method of choosing a state court judge. A commission shall select and nominate judges based solely on fitness for the position, without regard to any partisan political consideration. 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

John Huber, Chair

Patricia Cassell

Marina Tateoka

Fred Lampropolus

Stan Parrish

Liz Halloran

Mayor Debbie Winn

Fourth Judicial District

Shaynie Hunter

John Kwarm

Tyson Skeen, Chair

David Morin

Mary Nielson

Luke Searle

Jeannette Bennett


Fifth Judicial District

Maile Wilson, Chair

Erin Waldman

Victoria Carlton

Angie Reddish-Day

Christa Hinton

Kristy Pike

Melanie Lightfoot

Sixth Judicial District

Jeff Mosdell, Chair

Judy Busk

Judy Habbeshaw 

Casey Jewkes 

Aaron Peterson 

Jared Buhanan

Douglas Neeley

Seventh Judicial District

Britney Ivins, Chair

Dominique Kiahtipes

Kristine Rogers

Brenda Lemon

Kendra Seeley

Ryan Bennally

Greg Funk

Eighth Judicial District

Michael Harrington 

Erin Rawlings 

Carolyn Perkins 

Irene Hansen S

Sonja Norton