HELENA — The state Judicial Nomination Commission on Tuesday submitted four names to Gov. Steve Bullock for consideration for appointment to a vacant seat on the Montana Supreme Court.
Fifteen attorneys applied for the opening.
The four attorneys the commission recommended to Bullock are:
Beth Brennan of Missoula.
Amy Poehling Eddy of Kalispell.
State Workers’ Compensation Judge Jim Shea of Helena.
Patrick Watt of Great Falls.
Bullock must fill the position within 30 days after receiving the names of the nominees from the commission. He must choose someone from the list of finalists. This will be Bullock’s first appointment of a Supreme Court justice.
The person he appoints to the Supreme Court will be subject to election at the primary and general elections in 2016. The candidate elected in 2016 will serve until January 2021.
The commission’s action follows the close of a 30-day period during which the public could comment on the 15 applicants.
The opening on the court was created when Justice Brian Morris in December resigned to accept a presidential appointment to become a U.S. district judge.
The commission interviewed all 15 applicants on Monday and Tuesday.
The lawyers who applied for Supreme Court justice but who were not recommended by the commission were: Mike Black of rural Granite County; Deborah Butler of Helena; Carlo Canty of Helena; former state Sen. Jon Ellingson of Missoula, Randi Hood of Helena, Jacqueline Lenmark of Helena, Mike McCabe of Helena; District Judge David Ortley of Kalispell; Ed Sheehy Jr. of Missoula; K. Paul Stahl of Helena; and Eric Thueson of Helena.
Members of the Judicial Nomination Commission are District Judge Richard Simonton of Glendive; Shirley Ball of Nashua; Mona Charles of Kalispell; Patrick Kelly of Miles City; Lane Larson of Billings: Ryan Rusche of Columbia Falls and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.