Snohomish County’s Judge Millie Judge eyes higher court

Superior Court judge is among a dozen applicants looking to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy.

Millie Judge

Millie Judge

EVERETT — A Snohomish County jurist has applied to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy.

Judge Millie Judgewas first elected to the Superior Court in 2012. Before that, she worked three years as the Snohomish County hearing examiner and 11 years in the civil division of the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She also served as an elected commissioner for Fire District 1.

Judge was among a dozen names released Wednesday by Tara Lee, a spokesperson for Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor is looking to fill a vacancy that will open up after Justice Mary Fairhurst’s retirement on Jan. 5.

“Over the next few weeks, the governor’s legal counsel and deputy legal counsel will be interviewing each of them,” Lee said in an email. “The governor will make the final decision and the announcement will likely be made the first week of December in Olympia.”

The new justice would be sworn in to fulfill the remaining year of Fairhurst’s term. The seat will be up for election in 2020.

Through her law clerk, Judge declined to comment on her application.

Other contenders come from across the state. Some serve as judges, in other superior courts or the state court of appeals. Others are in private practice. One clerks for the state Supreme Court.

Millie Judge is the only applicant from Snohomish or Island counties. She earned her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in California in 1990, according to an online biography. Her career has included stints in private practice and running an environmental consulting firm. She has served on the international board of directors for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit serving seriously ill children and their families.

Fairhurst was first elected to the Supreme Court in 2002, and selected by her colleagues as chief justice in 2016. She has been fighting bouts of cancer since 2008, and announced in October that she would retire to focus on her health.

Fairhurst continued to work while undergoing chemotherapy. She said her decision to retire became clear after her doctor told her she had another nine months to two years to live.

Justice Debra Stephens has been elected by her supreme court colleagues to serve as chief justice next year. The next full, four-year term election for chief justice will occur in November 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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