- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann says he will retire this fall after more than 16 years on the state’s highest court.

Eismann has served in the state’s judiciary for three decades, first as a magistrate judge in Owyhee County and later as a district judge in Ada County. He joined the high court in 2000 after defeating incumbent Cathy Silak in a highly contentious and partisan race for the non-partisan seat.

In a prepared statement, Eismann said it was his honor and privilege to serve the state.

“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the most dedicated servants to our state and communities. I am proud of all that has been accomplished in the Idaho Courts and wish my colleagues the best as they continue to serve all Idahoans,” Eismann wrote in the statement released Monday.

Eismann was unopposed in both the 2006 and 2012 elections. Because Eismann is retiring on Aug. 31 of this year - before his term would normally expire, in January 2019 - Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter will be able to name Eismann’s replacement.

The governor will pick from a list of two to four candidates selected by the Idaho Judicial Council. The seat will then come up for election in May 2018.

Mid-term appointments typically give the appointees an advantage in the next election, because they are able to run as an incumbent.

Eismann helped establish the Ada County Drug Court in 1998 and has since served as the chair of the statewide Drug Court and Mental Health Court Coordinating Committee, winning an award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in 2009 for his work.

His time on the bench has not been without friction, however. The justice raised a few eyebrows within the legal community when he harshly criticized his colleagues on the bench in a written opinion on a medical malpractice lawsuit, and again when he accused an attorney of willfully evading his questions during a tribal gambling case.

Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick lauded Eismann’s intellect and contributions to the state.

“He has served Idaho and its communities for several decades with unwavering commitment and compassion and is one of the most thoughtful, dedicated and intellectual colleagues one could ask for,” Burdick wrote in a prepared statement. “I will personally miss his presence on the court.”

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