New chief justice on the Oregon Supreme Court
Oregon: Last week Tuesday, Thomas Balmer was sworn in as the new chief justice for the Oregon Supreme Court. He filled the position after Justice Paul DeMuniz stepped down with plans to retire on January 1, 2012. 
One of the new Chief's goals is to raise more funding for the court in order to keep it open on Fridays. He will present a budget plan to the Legislative Emergency Board later this month.
- “If you are a woman who needs to get a restraining order against your abusive former boyfriend, and the court is not open on Friday, you cannot get the order that tells police to keep him away and puts him in violation if he comes to harass you. The court is not like a Driver and Motor Vehicles office, where you can come back on a Monday to get your license renewed.” - Chief Justice Thomas Balmer
Chief Balmer's Bachground
Balmer received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1974 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977.  After graduating from law school, Balmer went into private practice. After two years, he became a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. After serving in this capacity from 1979 to 1980, he went back into private practice. In 1993, he became Deputy Attorney General for the state of Oregon. After four years, he went back into private practice, which he continued until he joined the Oregon Supreme Court in 2001.  Before becoming the chief justice, Balmer was an associate justice (holding Position 1) on the Oregon Supreme Court, a position to which he was initially appointed on September 20, 2001 by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat. 
- Check out the 2012 judicial races in Oregon!
- News: Deputy district attorney Orr to challenge incumbent Bloom in upcoming election, April 18, 2012
- News: Three candidates to compete in Court of Appeals elections, April 10, 2012
- News: Oregon Supreme Court Primary draws nearer, March 28, 2012
- Judicial elections, 2012
- Oregon Supreme Court
|This article was written by Kevin Kelly, an Assistant Staff Writer for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at email@example.com.|