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Utah Supreme Court Justic Lee announces retirement from court

Jan 20, 2022, 12:39 PM
Utah Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Thomas Lee (Utah State Courts)...
Utah Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Thomas Lee (Utah State Courts)
(Utah State Courts)

SALT LAKE CITY –The Utah Supreme Court has a vacant chair after Associate Chief Justice Thomas R. Lee announced his retirement.

Lee, brother of U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, made the announcement in a letter to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox on Jan. 19.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of the State of Utah as a member of the Supreme Court. For twelve years, I have been privileged to work with an impressive group of committed, principled colleagues on this court and throughout the judiciary,” Lee wrote.

“I have decided that the time has come for me to pursue other opportunities in the legal profession. I anticipate stepping down from the court on July 31, 2022.”

Lee was appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2010, giving him a 12-year run.

“Associate Chief Justice Lee is an extraordinary jurist and scholar,” said Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant. “I don’t think a single opinion has been issued in a case in which he participated that was not improved by his scholarship, whether or not he was the named author. His work has been brilliant and his commitment to the rule of law unparalleled.”

Mike Lee also issued a statement about his brother:

“My brother Tom is truly a model jurist and public servant, and has fulfilled his role on the Utah Supreme Court with an unparalleled commitment to excellence and professionalism over the last twelve years. He’s a pioneer and expert in the use of linguistic theory and tools in interpreting the language of the law.

“His work has brought increased transparency and determinacy to the work of textualism and originalism, thus enhancing the rule of law. His judicial opinions and scholarly publications in this field have been cited in state and federal courts throughout the country, including in the Supreme Court of the United States. I couldn’t be more proud to be his brother.”

Lee has a B.A. in economics from BYU and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

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Utah Supreme Court Justic Lee announces retirement from court