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Oregon Circuit Judge Nan G. Waller receives William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Oregon Circuit Judge Nan G. Waller receives William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Nov. 18, 2022 - On Thursday, Oregon Circuit Judge Nan G. Waller was honored with the 27th Annual William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence during an event at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., presented the award to the Multnomah County jurist in front of about 200 honored guests and dignitaries. In his remarks, Chief Justice Roberts shared fond memories of Chief Justice Rehnquist and examples of Judge Waller’s approach to administering justice – both on and off the bench.

“She remains focused on the people in front of her,” he said.

One of the highest judicial recognitions in the country, the Rehnquist award honors a state court judge who demonstrates the outstanding qualities of judicial excellence, including integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professional ethics, creativity, sound judgment, intellectual courage, and decisiveness.

While introducing Judge Waller, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha L. Walters highlighted the judge’s numerous contributions that include developing innovative approaches to family law, mental health, and equity and racial disparity to adopting new ways of thinking about statewide electronic filing and case management and courthouse planning.

“I work every day with outstanding judges both in Oregon and from across the country,” Chief Justice Walters said. “What sets Nan apart is the breadth of the contributions she has made and the depth of her compassion for the people she serves.”

In her remarks, Judge Waller spoke of her love for all of her judicial assignments and the impact of her administrative work. Yet she’s particularly inspired to lead change after witnessing the difficulties people experience when they face the intersection of the courts and mental illness.

“It is in my current role in which I focus on those in the criminal justice system with serious mental health needs that I have found my work on the bench the most compelling, the application of the principles of procedural justice the most imperative, and my work off the bench the most urgent," she said.

View the media release here.

National court, legal leaders celebrated with Warren E. Burger Society honor

Burger InducteesNCSC inducted five nationally recognized leaders into the Warren E. Burger Society Thursday. Named for the NCSC visionary and former Chief Justice of the United States, the Burger Society honors individuals who have used their time, talent and support to advance the organization in exceptional ways. This year’s inductees were celebrated during a luncheon in Washington, D.C.

The 2022 Burger Society inductees are (from left): Laurie K. Givens, Administrative Director, Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts; Jeffrey P. Minear, retired Counselor to the Chief Justice of the United States; retired Utah Supreme Court Justice Constandinos "Deno" Himonas; Eileen Fitzgerald, a national affordable housing leader; and Thomas C. Leighton, Vice President, Content Acquisition and Judicial Relations, Thomson Reuters. The inductees are photographed with (far right) Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush, president of the Conference of Chief Justices and chair of the NCSC Board of Directors.