Rupert attorney Robyn Brody and Idaho Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, proved to be formidable competition in the May primary race for the contested seat on the Idaho Supreme Court. Whoever wins this race and presides for the next six years will have a ready example and big shoes to fill in replacing Justice Jim Jones.
Brody and McKenzie prevailed by besting other strong candidates in the four-way primary — one with bench experience and one with deep knowledge about Idaho issues that often come before the court.
With the runoff race down to Brody and McKenzie on Nov. 8, we had to split some hairs and make a tough decision, choosing Brody. She has a great reputation among her peers in the Magic Valley and we appreciate her populist appeal — summed up in the slogan “from trench to bench.”
Brody’s achievements include having served as president of the Fifth District Bar Association and receiving the Idaho State Bar’s Professionalism Award in 2014.
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She projects an approachable personality that is always a good addition to any team that deals with people and institutions. During an Idaho Statesman interview the day after she was determined to be the top vote-getter in the primary, Brody said: “People would come up to me after events and thank me for talking, and thank me for talking to them. One gal put it this way: ‘Thank you for talking to all of us, not just the special people.’ ”
It must be said that Brody’s close ties with and support from the state’s trial lawyers give some on our board pause. If she wins, she can’t listen more closely to one team than the other. She will be the judge.
Others of us have similar issues with McKenzie’s very partisan track record in the Idaho Legislature, rarely veering from strict Republican agendas and dogma. It is fair to say that McKenzie was a champion of getting guns on campus and removing checks and balances that law enforcement appreciated when considering concealed carry permits in our cities. When we asked whether that meant he was ready to allow armed individuals in Idaho courtrooms he might preside over someday, McKenzie’s comment was, “That’s different.”
There are ample examples of attorneys who in a previous position had partisan and professional leanings and yet go on to serve admirably and independently. They were able to summon and assume the objectivity and judgment demanded of being on the state’s highest court. Brody is best equipped to do that.
Statesman editorials are the unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesman’s editorial board. To comment on an editorial or suggest a topic, email editorial@ idahostatesman.com.