[Warning: there are indications that Justice for Washington may not be the “bipartisan” group it claims to be. More to follow.]
It can be hard to figure out how to cast your votes in the non-partisan judicial races. It’s also hard to figure out if election or appointment is a better way to put a judge on the bench, but in Washington State we vote for judges. So, here we go. Who are we going to elect to serve as judges in the State?
There are a a couple of reasonable sources for gathering information about who to vote for. Let’s just start with the question of who is running and well-qualified for the position.
The Justice for Washington Foundation says it is the only bi-partisan judicial rating process in the state.
JWF issued a press release on July 24th about the races and here is what they had to say:
Justice for Washington Rates
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Candidates
The Justice for Washington Foundation released its bi-partisan 2012 rating for appellate level judicial candidates in the contested races for the state Supreme Court and Division II of the Court of Appeals.
OLYMPIA, WA – The Justice for Washington Foundation released its 2012 evaluations for contested appellate court elections in Washington State. The Foundation operates the state’s only expressly bi-partisan evaluation of appellate level judicial candidates. The Foundation rated only one candidate as “exceptionally well qualified” and four as “unqualified”.
Washington State Supreme Court, Position #2
- Susan Owens – Qualified
- Douglas McQuaid – Unqualified
- Scott Stafne – Unqualified
Washington State Supreme Court, Position #8
- Steve Gonzalez – Well Qualified
Washington State Supreme Court, Position #9
- Bruce Hilyer – Exceptionally Well Qualified
- John Ladenburg – Well Qualified
- Richard Sanders – Qualified
- Sheryl Gordon McCloud – Qualified
Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, District 2 (Clallam, Jefferson, Grays
Harbor, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston Counties)
- Pam Loginsky – Well Qualified
- Tom Bjorgen – Well Qualified
- Michael Lynch – Well Qualified
- Tom Weaver – Qualified
- Brendan Williams – Unqualified
- Jim Foley – Unqualified
The member of the committee were:
Jerry Rubin – Democrat with the law firm of Stoel Rives
Chris Bayley – Republican and former King County Prosecutor.
Phil Sorenson – Democrat with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office
Alex Hays – Republican and Executive Director of the Mainstream Republicans of
Washington. Mr. Hays is actively supporting a candidate in the Division II District 2
Court of Appeals race and recused himself from that evaluation.
The Justice for Washington Foundation works to preserve a well qualified elected judiciary
committed to judicial restraint. The Foundation also works to educate the public about the
history and content of the Washington State Constitution.