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Schroeder elected as Idaho chief justice

By Associated Press

BOISE ? The state?s longest-serving judge has been elected chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court.

Justice Gerald Schroeder was unanimously elected to a four-year term by the other judges on the high court. He will replace Chief Justice Linda Copple Trout, who was the first woman to hold the position in Idaho when she was elected in 1997. At the time, Trout was also the second-youngest chief justice in the nation.

When Schroeder takes over Sept. 1, Trout will become vice chief justice.

Schroeder has served as a judge in Idaho for 35 years, starting as Ada County Probate Judge in 1969 before he was appointed as a Magistrate in the 4th District Court in 1971. Former Gov. Cecil Andrus appointed him 4th District judge in 1975, where he remained until 1995, when former Gov. Phil Batt appointed him to the Idaho Supreme Court.

He presided over some of his most notable cases while serving in the 4th District Courts.

The long-running lawsuit over funding between several public school districts and the state began in front of Schroeder?s 4th District bench in 1990.

Schroeder is also the only judge in the state to have witnessed the execution of a man he sentenced to death. Double-murderer Keith Eugene Wells was executed by lethal injection in 1994 for beating a couple to death about four years earlier. His execution was Idaho?s first in 37 years.

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