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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Christian Conservative Effort to Unseat Judges Unlikely to be Last

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Legal watchers say the failed attempt by Christian conservatives to unseat four incumbent judges in San Diego is unlikely to be the last effort to influence the make-up of local courts, according to legal watchers.

Legal watchers say the failed attempt by Christian conservatives to unseat four incumbent judges in San Diego is unlikely to be the last effort to influence the make-up of local courts, according to legal watchers.

All four judicial candidates endorsed by the Christian conservative movement Better Courts Now lost by 20 to 30 percentage points. The group wants judges who oppose same sex marriage and abortion.

But Adam Skaggs of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school said Better Courts Now supporters leave the impression their goal is part of a long-term strategy.

"These groups are committed and are not going to go away quietly," Skaggs said. "If they continue to be unsuccessful and struggle to make progress in actually getting their favorite candidates elected, it may be that the movement runs out of gas."

Skaggs says socially conservative groups are trying to gain control of the bench in other parts of the country. But the movement is not as common as attempts by business interests to influence the outcome of judicial elections.

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