Gov. Brown names 2 judges to Oregon Supreme Court in final days

Stephen Bushong Bronson James

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced five new judicial appointments just days before her time in office ends. Two of those are to the state’s highest court.

Brown named Judge Stephen Bushong and Judge Bronson James to the Oregon Supreme Court.

She also filled vacancies on the court of appeals and the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Brown has appointed 112 judges, including eight to the Oregon Supreme Court — more than any other Oregon governor.

Here is more on the two new Supreme Court justices, as announced by the governor’s office.

Stephen Bushong, a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court since 2008, will fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the planned retirement of Justice Thomas Balmer. Bushong has served as Multnomah County’s presiding judge and its chief civil judge, and previously litigated civil cases as an attorney at the Miller Nash law firm and as chief trial counsel and attorney-in-charge of the Special Litigation Unit at the Oregon Department of Justice. He received his bachelor’s degree and his law degree from the University of Michigan. Bushong also serves on the Oregon Law Commission and the Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee, and coaches Franklin High School’s “We the People” team.
Bronson James, a judge on the Court of Appeals since 2017, will fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the planned retirement of Chief Justice Martha Walters. James previously served as a trial judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Prior to his judicial service, he practiced as an appellate public defender in the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services, and represented injured plaintiffs and criminal defendants at his own firm. James is a graduate of Reed College and Lewis & Clark Law School. In addition to his time on the bench, he serves on Oregon’s Ad Hoc Committee on Unconscious Bias and the Judicial Leadership and Education Committee, and coaches mock trial through the Classroom Law Project.


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