The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission has announced its nominations for a vacancy on the Utah Supreme Court.
According to a Monday news release, the seven nominees include Fourth District Court judges Jennifer Brown and Derek Pullan; Utah Court of Appeals judges Diana Hagen, Ryan Harris and Jill Pohlman; Salt Lake City Justice Court Judge Clemens Landau; and BYU Law School Professor D. Carolina Núñez.
A spot on the five-person court opened after Utah Supreme Court Justice Constandinos “Deno” Himonas submitted his resignation to Gov. Spencer Cox in October, following a little over six years of public service in that role.
March 1 will be Himonas’ final day on the court.
“It has been my singular honor to have served the people of Utah, first as a trial judge on the Third Judicial District Court (2004-2015) and then as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court (2015-2022),” he wrote in his retirement letter. “I pray that I have served with some modicum of merit and that I have not disappointed those who appointed me to the bench — Governors Olene Walker and Gary Herbert.”
The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission is now open for written public comment on its selections until noon on March 11.
Written comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com or in-person at the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice’s P.O. Box 142330 in Salt Lake City, according to the news release. The commission will review the comments and may request further information or conduct investigations of the nominees.
After the period for public comment concludes, the commission will forward the names to Cox, who will have 30 days to make an appointment. The appointee will then be subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.
Judge Jennifer Brown graduated cum laude from the Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School and was appointed to the Fourth District Court in 2014 by former Gov. Gary Herbert. At the time, Herbert praised Brown as “a woman of high character whose wisdom and experience will greatly benefit the 4th District.”
Judge Diana Hagen graduated with honors from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1998. She was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by Herbert in 2017. She also serves as chair of the Judicial Branch Education Committee and the Oversight Committee for the Office of Professional Conduct.
Judge Ryan Harris graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School in 1998 and was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by Herbert in 2017. He is also currently an adjunct professor of law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Judge Jill Pohlman graduated from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law and was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals in 2016 by Herbert.
Judge Clemens Landau graduated from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2008 and was appointed to the Salt Lake City Justice Court by Mayor Jackie Biskupski in 2017. Landau is also a member of Utah’s Access to Justice Commission and the Administrative Office of the Court’s Standing Committee on Technology.
Carolina Núñez is the Charles E. Jones Professor of Law at the BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2004. She specializes in immigration law, citizenship and immigrant rights. She is a member of the governing board of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion.
Correction: March 2, 10:05 a.m. • This story has been updated to correct the name and title of Carolina Núñez, who the Charles E. Jones Professor of Law at the BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School.