This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed Court of Appeals Judge John Pearce as a justice on the state Supreme Court.

Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, praised the jurist as a "wonderful individual" who is well-qualified to sit on the high court.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, agreed and said, "We're confirming an extraordinary individual. I think he's brilliant."

Pearce was nominated by Gov. Gary Herbert to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Justice Jill Parrish, who is now a federal judge. He was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by the governor in October 2013.

After the 21-0 vote, Pearce joked that this week has been circled on his family's calendar because "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is coming out.

He added that the movie would have to be "pretty amazing" to top his confirmation.

Pearce said what happens in the courtroom matters to Utahns.

"I pledge to you I will do my level best to give the people of Utah the judiciary they deserve," the 46-year-old said.

The Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee voted Tuesday to unanimously recommend that Pearce be confirmed for the spot on the Utah Supreme Court.

Before joining the appeals court, Pearce was an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, Calif., and a shareholder at Jones Waldo in Salt Lake City and served as general counsel to Herbert, according to his biography on the Utah state courts website. He is an adjunct professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

Pearce earned a degree in economics from the University of Utah and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is married to Jennifer Napier-Pearce, who works for The Salt Lake Tribune and hosts Trib Talk.

Twitter: PamelaMansonSLC

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