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HomenewsThe State of Oregon Has Elected Its Second Female Chief Justice.

The State of Oregon Has Elected Its Second Female Chief Justice.

Oregon’s Supreme Court has its second female top justice.

Chief Justice Martha Walters retired and was succeeded by Meagan Flynn on Jan. 1.

The court, which elects the chief justice, expressed its support for Flynn in October and unanimously confirmed her six-year term in December.

Gov. Kate Brown appointed Flynn, 55, to the Supreme Court in 2017 and served as an associate justice until 2022. 2014–2017: Oregon Court of Appeals.

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Flynn said Thursday that he was grateful to serve the Supreme Court, the judicial branch, and Oregonians as chief justice. I look forward to building on Chief Justice Martha Walters’ remarkable work to strengthen our courts. Chief Justice Meagan Flynn (Oregon Judicial Department)

Brown appointed two more high court justices in late December, making her all of them. Supreme Court judges must win reelection after nomination.

The chief justice runs the Oregon Judicial Department and the court. It has around 1,700 workers, 200 trial and appellate judges, and a $300 million budget.

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The Oregon Judicial Department contains the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Tax Court, circuit courts in all 36 counties, and the State Court Administrator.

Flynn stated, “In the next months, I aim to listen, learn, collaborate and push for a judicial branch dedicated to access, inclusivity, innovation, improvement, and justice for everyone.

Flynn swore in Brown’s new associate justices, Stephen Bushong and Bronson James, in her first act as chief justice. They replace Walters and Justice Thomas Balmer, who retired last year. They must run in 2024.

From 1999 through 2014, Preston Bunnell & Flynn in Portland performed civil appellate law. She was an associate attorney with Pozzi Wilson Atchison in Portland from 1994 to 1999, handling personal injury, state worker’s compensation, and federal longshore compensation matters. She clerked for two Oregon Court of Appeals judges from 1992–1994.


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