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Comments made by JodiC

Conservatives Move To Unseat SD Superior Court Judges

And, to be clear, none of the members of the County Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Committee or the County Bar Board that reviewed the Committee’s recommendations has endorsed, given money to or raised funds for any of the incumbent judges. They all avoided any such activity to maintain the integrity of the process.

In addition, the Bar's Judicial Evaluation Committee, unlike Better Courts Now, gave each judicial candidate an opportunity to seek a rating. Better Courts Now admits it offered no opportunity for any of the incumbents to seek the group's endorsement or to answer the questions posed by the group to determine if a candidate qualified. (Those questions, by the way, included questions about opposition to the separation of church and state, abortion and same-sex marriage and support of "traditional moral values.")

Although the members of the Bar Board and the Judicial Evaluation Committee have correctly refrained from fundraising for any judicial candidates, it is quite telling that the Bar's Certified Family Law Specialists Committee -- which is comprised of Mr. Candelore's own family law colleagues -- are actively supporting Judge Lantz Lewis, whom Mr. Candelore is trying to unseat, and the other incumbent judges.

May 19, 2010 at 1:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Conservatives Move To Unseat SD Superior Court Judges

Better Courts Now, which endorses the four judges challenging incumbents in this election, says it is taking an “innovative approach to unifying the moral vote.” This clearly suggests that – far from promoting a neutral judiciary – BCN has a specific viewpoint that it wishes to have represented on the bench, i.e. whatever it deems constitutes a “moral” viewpoint. Interestingly, BCN does not explain anywhere on its website what that “moral vote” is, and BCN-backed judicial candidate Craig Candelore also would not answer questions about his or the group’s positions. Equally interesting, neither BCN nor Mr. Candelore can explain why the incumbent judges being challenged are in any way not reflective of the “moral vote.”

Mr. Candelore attacked the San Diego County Bar Association’s evaluation process, arguing that it is somehow unfair because some of the Bar’s more than 10,000 individual members have engaged in fundraising for incumbent judges. Mr. Candelore ignores the fact that the judicial candidate ratings are conducted by the Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Committee, an independent standing committee that conducts a thorough investigation of each judicial candidate (whether or not they choose to participate in the process). Mr. Candelore, who along with BCN candidates Larry Kincaid and William Trask received a rating of “lacking qualifications” from the Bar, also complained about the transparency of the evaluation process, despite the fact that the Bar clearly explains the process and the ratings system and identifies the chair of the 21-member committee on its website. (See and In contrast, BCN provides absolutely no information about its endorsement process or the criteria it uses to determine its endorsements.

Finally, Mr. Candelore referred to the need for “judicial oversight.” As a lawyer, he should be well aware that our Constitution established the judiciary as an independent branch of government, not one that is overseen by the executive or legislative branch or, frankly, the voters. There is, in fact, an independent state agency that investigates and disciplines judges, the Commission on Judicial Performance, What BCN and Mr. Candelore really want is for voters to ignore the constitutional requirements of an independent judiciary and for judges to issue rulings that support their pet causes, regardless of what the law might hold.

BCN and Mr. Candelore pretend that there is some simple, black-and-white statement of “the law” that exists, and that “activist” judges are ignoring it. As a lawyer, Mr. Candelore should know better. Reasonable, intelligent, educated people may differ about what a particular law means or how it applies to a particular set of facts. Courts may alter their interpretations of the laws over time as they are presented with new circumstances. That is not judicial activism. That is simply how our system works.

May 19, 2010 at 11:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bumper Stickers Wax Philosophical in New Book

One of my favorite bumper stickers is on my own car -- "Well behaved women rarely make history." I'm also fond of, but don't have, the one that says, "When Jesus said love your enemies, I'm pretty sure he meant don't kill them."

Like Randolph above, I don't care for the "Not of This World" stickers because they just seem sort of presumptious. I also don't love the weird little stick figure family groups you see on practically every SUV, but I just think they're weird.

I saw a very odd window sticker the other day on a Mercedes SUV. It said, "This Mercedes is dedicated to Jesus." I couldn't figure out why Jesus would want a luxury gas-hog, and it made me wonder why the owner was driving it instead of selling it and giving the money to a group that feeds the hungry.

March 25, 2010 at 2:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )