Okay, so our projection about the frontrunner for the Idaho Supreme Court seat filled last month - we pegged Idaho Falls Republican Senator Bart Davis as the guy to beat - didn't pan out so well. (He didn't make the final cut of four by the Idaho Judicial Council.) But are we going to let that stop us on round II?
Of course not.
The Council this morning released the list of a dozen applicants for the high court spot to be vacated by Linda Copple Trout, who is resigning. (The last seat filled, by attorney Warren Jones, had been held by Gerald Schroeder.) There's less overlap than you might think between the old list of 19 applicants and this list of 12. Only one of the Council's final cut from last time, 4th District Judge Joel Horton, is back. The other two, both key figures in the state attorney general's staff, didn't try again.
(Least likely of the 12 ultimately to be selected by Republican Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter: Bill Mauk, a highly-regarded Boise attorney who also happens to be a former chair of the Idaho Democratic Party.)
In looking at the new list, it's worth bearing in mind that Trout is the only woman on the court, which gives some immediate interest to the four women on the list: one private practive attorney, Debora Kristensen, and three district judges, Kathryn Sticklen, Darla Williamson and Juneal Kerrick.
Our attention, however, went immediately to another name: Sergio Gutierrez, a judge on the court of appeals and previously a district judge. Well-regarded professionally, he also would be the first justice of Hispanic background on the high court (as he is the first on the Court of Appeals). It would be a solid choice both substantively and symbolically, something Otter probably will consider as he replaces the only woman on the court.
Of course, we've been wrong before . . .