Historic: Oregon Supreme Court to have majority women

Judge Rebecca Duncan appointed Wednesday

Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Rebecca Duncan has been appointed as the next justice on the Oregon Supreme Court. (Courtesy via Portland Tribune)

SALEM, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE)  — Gov. Kate Brown has selected Appellate Court Judge Rebecca Duncan as the next Oregon Supreme Court justice.

Duncan’s appointment gives the seven-member high court a majority of women for the first time in the court’s history.

Duncan succeeds Justice David V. Brewer of Eugene, who plans to retire June 30.

“No one is better suited than Becky Duncan to this historic appointment,” Gov. Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “Throughout her career, Becky Duncan has been a model of intellectual rigor and professionalism.”

Appointed as an appellate court judge in January 2010 by Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Duncan is the only member of the Court of Appeals who worked as a career public defender before her judicial service.

She worked as a trial attorney with the Metropolitan Public Defender in Washington and Multnomah counties and then as assistant chief defender in the Office of Public Defense Services for nearly a decade.

“Her experience representing the accused first as a trial lawyer and then as an appellate advocate will be of great value to the high court,” the governor said.

She earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

With Duncan’s appointment, Oregon joins several other state high courts with women majorities, including Washington, California, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

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