Roger Burdick

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Roger Burdick
Court Information:
Idaho Supreme Court
Title:   Chief justice
Salary:  $123,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Dirk Kempthorne
Active:   2003-2017
Chief:   2011-2015
Preceded by:   Daniel Eismann
Past post:   Judge, Idaho Fifth Judicial District
Past term:   2001-2003
Past post 2:   Judge, Twin Falls County District
Past term 2:   1993-2001
Personal History
Undergraduate:   University of Colorado, 1970
Law School:   University of Idaho School of Law, 1974

Roger Burdick is the chief justice of the five member Idaho Supreme Court. He was nominated by his peers and appointed by Governor Dirk Kempthorne to serve a four-year term as chief justice on August 1, 2011. He was elected to the court in the state's Nonpartisan election of judges taking office in August 2003. Burdick was successfully retained to additional six-year terms in 2004 and 2010. His current term will expire in January 2017.[1][2][3]


Burdick received his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Colorado in 1970 and his J.D. degree from the University of Idaho School of Law in 1974.[2]

Professional career

Awards and associations


  • President, District Judges Association
  • Past president, Idaho Magistrate Association
  • Chair, Criminal Rules Committee
  • Chair, Criminal Jury Instruction Committees
  • Former chairman, Idaho Magistrate Association, Juvenile Rules Committee
  • Member, Idaho Judicial Council



Idaho Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Roger Burdick Green check mark transparent.png 99,788 58.4%
John H. Bradbury 71,160 41.6%
  • Click here for 2010 General Election Results from the Idaho Secretary of State.

Burdick defeated John Bradbury with 58.5% of the vote.[4] "This is the first time I've ever had to campaign, and so it's new," said Justice Burdick.[5]

See also: Idaho judicial elections, 2010

Idaho State Bar Survey

The Idaho State Bar surveyed its members on the contested races in 2010. Burdick was ranked as "above average" in all areas measured. Candidates were rated on a scale of 1 to 4, where "4" means "exceeds expectations".[6][7][8]

Summary categories Average score Total scored responses
Integrity and Independence 3.6 486
Knowledge and Understanding of the Law 3.5 494
Judicial Temperament and Demeanor 3.7 498
Legal Ability and Experience 3.6 495
Overall 3.6 -


Campaign platform

Burdick campaigned on the platform that the Idaho judiciary is performing well, and that his many years of experience both as an attorney and at the trial and appellate levels of the judiciary will continue to serve the state well.[9] This is in contrast to Bradbury's platform which was focused on a need for reform - reforms that Burdick claims are outside of the purview of the high court, or are already available at the district court level.[10][11]

Burdick also mentioned water as a major issue that will affect Idahoans after the election. "Over the next six years the Idaho State Supreme Court is going to have significant decisions come out of the Snake River Adjudication. We are the ones who will decide the constitutionality of whatever fix the legislature comes up with, as well as the decisions of the Snake River Adjudication and who owns what water and their priority date. That will affect everyone in the state of Idaho whether you live in the city or out in the country."[9]

Candidate debate

Burdick stated that he was willing to debate challenger Bradbury, who took him up on the offer.[12] The two candidates debated on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8 p.m. The debate occurred in front of a live audience at the statehouse in Boise and was aired by Idaho Public Television.[13] The debate was characterized by The Spokesman Review as "fiery" and contained several clashes between the candidates. Notably, Burdick called a statement made by Bradbury as "abject malarkey and nonsense" after Bradbury indicated that a lawsuit concerning the state’s school facilities was brought to an end without any written order or decision.[14] Burdick later retracted his statement that the lawsuit was on-going: "That was a misstatement. We [the Supreme Court] indicated the case was over."[15]

View Debate Here


Idaho Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2004 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Roger Burdick Green check mark transparent.png 109,213 100%
Against retention 0 0%
  • Click here for 2004 General Election Results from the Idaho Secretary of State.

Political outlook

See also: Political outlook of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Burdick received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.48, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is less conservative than the average CF score of 0.75 that justices received in Idaho. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[16]

See also

External links


IdahoIdaho Supreme CourtIdaho Court of AppealsIdaho District CourtsIdaho Magistrate DivisionUnited States District Court for the District of IdahoUnited States bankruptcy court, District of IdahoUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitIdaho countiesIdaho judicial newsIdaho judicial electionsJudicial selection in IdahoIdahoTemplate.jpg