OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, who has been fighting a third bout of cancer, says she’ll be retiring from the court in January to focus on her health.
Fairhurst, 62, announced her decision in an email to her colleagues Thursday and in a formal letter to Gov. Jay Inslee. She says her last day will be Jan. 5, and she will complete the fall term of oral arguments before the court.
Fairhurst was first diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2008, with it later spreading to her lung. After five years of being cancer-free, Fairhurst announced in January that she was diagnosed again with colon cancer late last year, with the cancer then reappearing in her lungs and liver. She has continued to work throughout the year while undergoing chemotherapy.
Inslee will appoint a new justice who will fulfill the remaining year of Fairhurst’s term.