General Info On Justices

This should help

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Every time we elect a Governor, we also vote on whether to retain various Justices on the California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. There are no other candidates. The only choices are "Yes" or "No."

Some say that the only reason to vote "No" is if a Justice's honesty or integrity has been called into question. I disagree. Twenty years ago, Chief Justice Rose Bird and Associate Justices Grodin and Reynoso were the targets of a removal campaign based on their votes to reverse death sentences. This ultimately successful campaign was largely funded by business interests cynically hoping to get a business-friendly Court.

If a Justice's decisions on the death penalty are fair game, so are his/her decisions and comments on other cases as well as his/her backround. With this in mind, here are some recommendations and comments on the Justices on the ballot in San Diego County.

Fully deserving of your "No" votes are Patricia Benke and Richard Huffman. This is based on their appalling comments on the Mount Soledad Cross case on October 17. "At various times... Benke and... Huffman wondered aloud if the courts could possibly conclude that the intent of the voters was to act unconstitutionally when they approved the transfer[of the land under the cross from San Diego to the Federal Government]." San Diego Union-Tribune, October 18. Huh? The Courts are the interpreters of the State Constitution. Judicial independence is the cornerstone of our freedom. It insures that the rights of the minority are not trampled by the majority. This point seems to have been lost by Benke and Huffman.

Deserving of your extreme concern, are Justices Betty Richli, Jeffrey King and Douglas Miller. Richli and Miller attended law school at Pepperdine, a notorious center of aggresively conservative activism[Ken Starr became Dean there after his stint as Special Prosecutor in the Clinton matter]. King attended Redlands, another conservative bastion.

Other Justices deserving of your concern, due to the fact that they were, like the Justices mentioned above, nominated by Republican Governors, are Judith Haller and Art Mc Kinster.

Three Justices, while nominated by Republican Governors, are deserving of the benefit of the doubt because of their performance on the Courts/and or their backrounds. Joyce Kennard[extraordinary personal story and much-needed moderating influence on the post-Bird Court], Carol Corrigan[recent moderating addition to Supreme Court] and Raymond Ikola[education not typical on the bench: degrees in electrophysics and Electrical Engineering].

Finally, the following Justices, nominated by Democratic Governors, are fully deserving of your "Yes" vote: Cynthia Aaron, Joan Irion, Judith Mc Connell and Kathleen O'Leary.

To sum up,

Supreme Court

  • Joyce Kennard: Benefit of Doubt
  • Carol Corrigan: Benefit of Doubt

Court of Appeals, Division 1

  • Judith Mc Connell: Yes
  • Patricia Benke: No
  • Richard Huffman: No
  • Judith Haller: Caution
  • Cynthia Aaron: Yes
  • Joan Irion: Yes

Division 2

  • Art Mc Kinster: Caution
  • etty Richli: Extreme Caution
  • Jeffrey King: Extreme Caution
  • Douglas Miller: Extreme Caution

Division 3

  • Kathleen O'Leary: Yes
  • Raymond Ikola: Benefit of Doubt.

Thanks for your attention. Please forward to other Democrats and friendly independents.


Bill Irvine, Elected Member, San Diego Democratic Party, 76th Assembly District.

-- Raymond Lutz - 02 Nov 2006

Just talked to the ROV and was told if a Justice candidate gets 1 "Yes" vote and 25,000 "No" votes, they are still elected. So why the choice of Yes or No? The person didn't know, said it use to be just a single box to check. (Info from Nancy Goettler)

-- Raymond Lutz - 03 Nov 2006

I've known Judith Haller for 25 years. She's good people, and unless she writes bad future decisions she's a "keeper".

Judy Hess (PDA)

[I Adjusted the suggestions accordingly]

-- Raymond Lutz - 04 Nov 2006
Topic revision: r3 - 04 Nov 2006, RaymondLutz
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