Oregon Supreme Court Justice Rives Kistler Announces Retirement

The Supreme Court’s media release is available on the Oregon Judicial Department’s website at

<http://www.courts.oregon.gov/Pages/default.aspx> under “Latest News.”

The text of the media release is quoted below the fold.

September 13, 2018

Justice Rives Kistler Announces Retirement

Justice Rives Kistler will retire from the Oregon Supreme Court on December 31, 2018. Kistler announced his retirement Monday in a letter to Gov. Kate Brown.

“I hope that, in my time as a judge, I have contributed to the development of the law by providing reasoned, practical and understandable opinions consistent with the limited role of the courts in our system of government,” Kistler said. “State courts have a direct impact on the lives of all Oregonians, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege of working with both the judges on Oregon’s appellate courts and the lawyers who appear in front of us in seeking to resolve the parties’ disputes by faithfully applying the statutes and constitution of this state.”

“Justice Kistler is a brilliant thinker who cares deeply about the law and the people it affects,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters. “Our court will miss his nuanced analysis and collegiality and I will miss his laugh and his friendship. He is one of a kind.”

“I had the good fortune to work with Rives Kistler in the 1990s at the Oregon Dept of Justice and then for the last 15 years on the Supreme Court,” said former Chief Justice Tom Balmer. “He brought to those jobs a powerful intellect, a strong work ethic, and nuanced understanding of the role of the judiciary in state government. Rives was a joy to work with. We shall not soon see his like again.”

Kistler was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003, after four years on the Oregon Court of Appeals. He was the first openly-LGBT state Supreme Court justice in the country. Before his judicial service, Kistler clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, was in private practice in Portland, and was an Oregon assistant attorney general specializing in appellate cases. He is a former vice-chair of the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners and served on national work groups on criminal law, federalism, and free speech.

Kistler, 69, lives in Portland. He plans to serve as a senior judge.
Governor Brown will appoint Kistler’s replacement.

Contact: Phil Lemman
503.986.5745 or 503.580.7365 (cell)