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C of I alumna Dale wins Justice for All Award

November 5, 2014

College of Idaho alumna and former Board of Trustees chair Chief Magistrate Judge Candy Wagahoff Dale ’79 has been chosen by the Idaho State Bar Diversity Section as the 2014 winner of the Justice for All Award. The Diversity Section is a group of Idaho lawyers committed to civil rights for all people, regardless of color, gender, sexual preference or income level. The group selected Judge Dale for her fairness in following the law as a federal judge.

Dale received the award Oct. 30 during a legal education class titled “50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Widening the Circle” in Boise. In May, Judge Dale struck down Idaho’s 2006 Constitutional Amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages. In the ruling, Judge Dale wrote:

“Idaho’s Marriage Laws withhold from them a profound and personal choice, one that most can take for granted. By doing so, Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love.”

That position was left standing after the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions for review from similar rulings, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed her decision and lifted the stay on the injunction she issued in May. Same-sex marriages in Idaho began Oct. 15.  

Judge Dale graduated from the C of I in 1979, earned her law degree from the University of Idaho and began her legal career with the law firm Moffatt Thomas. In 1988, she was a founding partner of the firm Hall, Farley, Oberrecht & Blanton. She was selected for appointment to the U.S. District Court in November 2007 and has served in this position since March 30, 2008. With this appointment, Dale became the first woman appointed to a federal court in Idaho.

Dale currently is serving her second term on the C of I Board of Trustees. She recently concluded her term as chairwoman. She also has served as President of the National Alumni Board for the C of I.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit