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.