Governor nominates John Pearce to be Utah Supreme Court justice

Posted at 4:03 PM, Nov 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-09 18:17:08-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert has nominated John Pearce to be a member of the Utah Supreme Court.

At a news conference Monday, Pearce appeared with his family, the governor and Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant to discuss his nomination. Pearce serves as a judge on the Utah Court of Appeals and was previously Governor Herbert’s legal counsel.

In remarks to the crowd, Pearce noted the tough vetting process to sit on the state’s top court — the governor had his credit score pulled and had lawyers he’d even argued against interviewed.

Utah Supreme Court nominee John Pearce at a news conference with Governor Gary Herbert and Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant. (Photo via Ben Winslow)

In a brief interview with FOX 13, Pearce called being nominated to the Utah Supreme Court “a huge honor.” He said he welcomed discussions about improving the state court system.

“I think there are a lot of discussions going on in terms of efficiency and how we can increase access to justice. Certainly, cost of being able to litigate is an issue. I know the legislature is looking at a lot of those issues and the courts are involved in those discussions. I look forward to participating in those discussions to make sure we have a court system that’s open to all the people of Utah,” Pearce said.

Pearce’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Utah State Senate. So far, Governor Gary Herbert said he has nominated 58 judges and three justices to the Utah Supreme Court.