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Herbert Taps Judge Paige Peterson For Utah Supreme Court

Governor's office
Judge Paige Peterson.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has nominated Judge Paige Peterson to fill a vacancy on the Utah Supreme Court.

Herbert appointed Peterson to the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake about two years ago. He said her “intellectual firepower” and impressive pedigree - from Yale Law School to prosecuting war crimes at The Hague - make her a good selection for the state’s highest court.

During a press conference Tuesday, Herbert recounted what Peterson told him when he asked if she was up for the job.

“And she said kind of humbly, 'Well, I’ve taken on mob boss attorneys, I’ve cross-examined Serbian warlords, I think I might be up to the task of being on the Supreme Court,'” said Herbert. “So I think she is up to the task, she has a unique background.”

Peterson thanked Herbert for the opportunity. She also expressed gratitude to her parents and school teachers from Emery County, where she was raised.

“I promise I will work my absolute hardest, I will do my absolute best to serve the people of Utah on the Supreme Court, and I will interpret the law with fidelity,” she said.

If confirmed, Peterson would replace justice Christine Durham, who’s retiring next month. Durham, who was appointed in 1982, was the first woman ever to serve on the Utah Supreme Court and is still the only female justice.

Peterson’s confirmation will next go to the Utah Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee before being voted on by the full Senate.


Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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