August 16, 2006
Chief Justice Alexander is "Very Well Qualified" to legislate from the bench

Constitutional Law PAC issued its judicial candidate ratings yesterday. Each candidate was judged on qualifications and given a letter grade on Judicial Philosophy ("deference to the law, constitution and established legal precedent."). The competitive Supreme Court candidates:

Steve Johnson -- Very Well Qualified -- A
Susan Owens -- Qualified -- D
John Groen -- Well Qualified -- A
Gerry Alexander --Very Well Qualified -- C-
When a judge habitually invents laws and erodes civil liberties as Alexander has done, impressive qualifications aren't much of a consolation prize. Meanwhile, Joel Connelly, the contumelious liberal columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is crying foul because the two highly qualified and judicially restrained challengers, Stephen Johnson and John Groen, are receiving campaign contributions from folks whom Connelly doesn't approve of: "Outside interests influencing court races". "Outside interests" appears to be Connelly's term for "people who work for and operate businesses in Washington State". Connelly seems annoyed that someone other than labor unions, environmentalists, Indian tribes, government employees, trial lawyers or journalists might advocate on behalf of judicial candidates too.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at August 16, 2006 03:13 PM | Email This
Comments
1. I don't understand how someone can be 'very well qualified', yet show little deference to the law and constitution. It seems to be a conflict of terms.

Posted by: Fred on August 16, 2006 03:16 PM
2. Fred,

The Constitution needs to be fixed, it was written by dead WASP men and therefore is fundamentally flawed. Since it flawed it must be fixed, and we mustn't let the influences of the political process, i.e. the will of the people get in the way of progress. We must then rely on the exalted wisdom of judges, their absolute impartiality and understanding of how the Constitution should have been written to fix the mess left behind by the racist, sexist, homophobic founders.

Clear now?
/sarc

Posted by: JCM on August 16, 2006 03:29 PM
3. The Constitutional Law PAC?

I like judges who support the constitution, so I will take their "grade" recommendations seriously.

What a joke.

Its funny when a group calls itself something serious, and people decide "Hey, their name sounds good, lets take their opinions seriously".

Lets ignore the fact that they are obviously a special interest organization.

A year ago: "For the first time in this state, a political action committee has been formed to help elect candidates to the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The Constitutional Law PAC has a right-of-center orientation."

But hey, grades are cool. I'll vote for the one with the A, because that's better than the D.

Posted by: Gerald on August 16, 2006 03:31 PM
4. JCM - crystal clear; except for the /sarc at the end. You described the courts so well!

Posted by: Fred on August 16, 2006 03:32 PM
5. We will see just how qualified Alexander is when he is on a witness stand next month.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 03:33 PM
6. Don:

Please explain.

Posted by: wayne on August 16, 2006 03:39 PM
7. Fred,

/sarc -- turning off the sarcasm, for those not as preceptive as you.

Use the /sarc tag alot over on LGF. It's not used here, and I forget where I am at times.

Posted by: JCM on August 16, 2006 03:43 PM
8. 6. Don:
Please explain.
Posted by: wayne on August 16, 2006 03:39 PM

Please. Don't.
Just go forward with your 'case'. Then be sure to supply a link to the video of you publicly losing your marbles again.
Maybe they will arrest you the next time.

Posted by: jimg on August 16, 2006 03:55 PM
9. Considering the stigma of these bar or attorney ratings, I think I'll vote for Burrage who they say is unqualified. She must be doing something right.

Posted by: swatter on August 16, 2006 03:57 PM
10. Wayne,

Thank you for asking.

As you may or may not know, I've been fighting judicial corruption in th estate of Washington for a number of years. I have absolute, undeniable proof that the Washington State Supreme Court has been operated through a patern of racketeering activity in violation of title 18 US Code 1962(c) and (d).

A recent effort to expose this corruption was a petition to recall Gregoire. The WA SC refused to give me a hearing and a written, published decision on my appeal of the case as required by the WA Constitution, the RCWs, and their own rules. There was never a mention of the case on the SC web site, nor is there going to be a published decision. The court merely entered an 'order' dismissing the case as frivolous. The reality is, every justice on the state supreme court knows I can prove everything I alleged.

in a meeting with Alexander, on August 12, 2002, in his chambers, he admitted to me i was entitled to a $1.2 million judgment against Clark Couty because the sheriff and prosecutor would not investigate crimes committed against me by Clark County Superior court judge Robert L. Harris.

In short, the Supreme court has being trying to cover up the corruption within the WA judiciary. The corruption also involves Gregoire and former Governor Locke.

In April/May of this year, I threatened to conduct a citizens arrest of Alexander for corruption related crimes. It was no a veiled threat; it was explicit. When I went up to arrest Alexander, I was 'escorted from the Temple of Tyranny and some WSP officer told me to not return.

That was an unlawful order, so I was under no obligation to obey it. When I returned the next week, I was arrested while lawfully in a public area of the Courthouse for Criminal trespassing. My trial is scheduled for September 18.

interestingly, but not surprising, the only witnesses against me named by the prosecutor are five WSP officers. It appears that the prosecutor has no intention of calling the person who ought to be my accuser, Gerry Alexander. I informed the court that I would either get jusice in front of an honest panel of judges; or a jury.

If the prosecutor does not have Alexander testify, the judge will be forced to dismiss the action since all material issues related to a charge of trespassing would be hearsay.

Some people may try to portray me as a bit of a whack-job, but they know I am a very intelligent guy who knows the law. If I am not what I say, why was the SC so afraid to give me a hearing on my petition to recall Gregoire and issue a written decision/ Why has the court done everything possible to make sure no one learns the facts of the case? It is because I have proof of everything i alege is true.

If you would like some more info, let me have you email address. I can email you plenty of documents. Unlike many others on this forum, my email address is a real one.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 04:02 PM
11. I have a question.

A week or so ago, the WA SC agree to extend a deadline for the losers in the homosexual marriage case to file for reconsideration. Did they decide to request a reconsideration?

If so, it is my guess that Alexander will change sides, but the decision won't come out until after the election for SC justices.

I'm surprised there haven't been many comments on this matter.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 04:18 PM
12. I've never understood why liberals think it fine for THEIR special interests to donate to candidates, but let somebody outside THAT hallowed group give money to a candidate and boy, they howl about that.

STOP THE DOUBLE STANDARD! Connelly out to know better---Joel, stop needlessly trying to smear the good candidates about nothing!

Posted by: Misty on August 16, 2006 04:24 PM
13. Stefan,

Groups like the KCBA issue ratings based on a candidate's qualifications, legal experience, fair-mindedness and other reasonable criteria. Many candidates, John Groen and Steve Johnson included, were concerned that the KCBA also includes an unwritten political preference. Our two rating system is an effort to overcome this concern because we clearly identify our philosophical preference.

The Constitutional Law PAC is openly committed to judicial restraint. We believe that this is a moderate position and one that will protect the constitution and the civil liberties of every citizen, both left and right. We do not ever claim we are neutral on the question of judicial philosophy.

To reflect this commitment to judicial restraint we issued a letter grade in addition to our assessment of a candidate's other qualifications to serve on the bench. While I know this may send a mixed message in a small number of cases we believe it's more honest and ultimately more helpful to voters.

This is the first year we've used this system, so comments for your readers will help us decide if we continue with using two ratings or return to just issuing a qualifications rating that includes judicial philosophy.

I'll check back to see what advice is offered.

Thanks for sharing our ratings with your readers.

Alex Hays
Executive Director
Constitutional Law PAC

Posted by: Alex Hays on August 16, 2006 04:37 PM
14. Alex:

I have a few questions. For how long has your PAC been issuing judicial ratings? Is there a website that explains the criteria used? How do you determine the judicial philosophy rating of someone who has never been on the bench?

Posted by: wayne on August 16, 2006 04:55 PM
15. Alex,

Thanks for your input regarding the recent KCVA evaluations. I was a bit surprised that they were much more 'balanced than I expected.

I have a side question for you, and it is not a joke.

Is it your opinion that the separation of powers doctrine bars the prosecution of a judge who commits a crime? This is a serious question. I know the answer, but you'd be surprised at the answer of the state AG.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 04:55 PM
16. Don,

Seems like you have a big vendetta against Chief Justice Alexander..not sure why, but regarding the DOMA case I don't see him changing his vote after the election..especially since he was the one inside the court that was pushing to get this decision out so the people (and his opponents) couldn't claim the delay was due to politics. You may not think so but the guy in known nationwide for his integrity..he is not a political hack (He just received awards from several Legal groups for his integrity and commitment the the legal profession)

The bottom line is the guy is a republican, he was appointed by a republican and has a distinguished 33+ year career at all levels of the judiciary. I am one very conservative Republican who will be voting for him..Candidates like his opponent who are one issue candidates scare me. The real problem we have in this state is that we continually elect legislators who write and pass very liberal laws that our judge then in principle need to uphold. They (the legislators) are what needs to change.

G

Posted by: glenn on August 16, 2006 04:58 PM
17. Glenn,

Alexander is corrupt beyond belief, and I can prove it.

Why are you so confident that Alexander is actually an honest jurist. You only know a little about the man. you do not know about the skeletons in his closet.

Consider the retired Tacoma police officer who was recently arrested and charged with numerous sexual offenses against children. Did anyone know about his criminal history until just recently? By all accounts, he was a very well respected police officer.

Alexander is no different. He is not what he claims or most people think about him. He told me I was entitled to a $1.2 million judgment against Clark Couty, but said he would not do anything about it. Furthermore, he has never denied that he said it.

Why would Alexander and the other justices 'hide' a case involving a recall of the governor? If my case had no merit, why cover up the very existence of it? Wouldn't it be simple enough to issue a written, published opinion addressing the facrt and the law? The court addressed neither the facts, nor the law, because the only reasonable conclusion on could reach is that I have the proof of judicial corruption that goes all the way to the state SC and also implicates Gregoire, Locke, and many others.

The washington constitution requires that justice be administered 'openly'. There has been nothing 'open' about this case.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 05:13 PM
18. In response to Wayne:

This is our second year and our second set of candidate evaluations. In 2005 we rated Judge Susan Agid "very well qualified".

For the qualifications rating we used the same criteria used by the KCBA. I'll note that (so far) except in one instance our ratings are within one step of the KCBA's.

Differences between our process and the KCBA's include:

1. We had a four member committee perfectly balanced between Republicans and Democrats. The KCBA does not filter for party and it's committee c. 70 members.

2. The KCBA uses a lengthy questionnaire that deals with a variety of professional qualifications. We had a shorter questionnaire that focused on judicial philosophy and the administration of justice.

3. The committee chose not to interview any candidates, but instead performed their own investigation of each.

For 2008 I want to expand the size of the committee, maintain the even balance between parties, add representatives for Eastern Washington and complete the process earlier in the year.

Our website will be up next week. It will include details on our process.

Wayne you ask an important question about judicial philosophy for non-incumbents, we reviewed their questionnaires, looked at the legal record and noted their public statements about their opinion of previously resolved cases.

Like the ratings from every other group, ultimately they are the product of our carefully considered judgment.

Again, we are open to crtiticsim and advice on how to improve our process.

In response to Don: I'll defer to the AG. I'm not an attorney.


Posted by: Alex Hays on August 16, 2006 05:20 PM
19. Alex,

I like your dual rating system. I think it's fair to acknowledge that, say, Justice Alexander has impressive qualifications while also recognizing that using those qualification to support bad rulings isn't such a positive thing.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on August 16, 2006 05:39 PM
20. Mr. PhatAss Joel Cornholey knows PLENTY about "outside interests influencing elections". In fact, Cornholey is an EXPERT. The fact that Cornholey has 2 out-of-staters who have NEVER lived in Washington registered to vote at his Island County cabin is 100% Proof!
Cornholey is your typical self-righteous, left-wing prick who bristles whenever folks point out his hypocrisy.

Posted by: dude on August 16, 2006 05:57 PM
21. Alex,

Have enjoyed reading your comments about your oragnization's process.

For what it is worth, I think the majority got the Andress decision right. They did invite the legislature to fix the problem the legislature created.

In a sense, it is similar to the invitation the USSC gave Congress that led to the passage of 18 US Code 1346 which makes it a crime to deny a citizen of the honest performance of a public official's duties.

As for the AG, McKenna claims judges cannot be prosecuted for the commision of a crime.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 05:58 PM
22. Alexander is very dangerous as demonstrated in previous threads to this post, simply because he is judicially well-qualified and chooses to abuse the constitution in the name of the ACLU. Hopefully his opponent - Groen will expose this in his campaign ads and should know that he will have to do that in order to win. The corruption of the WSSC can be laid at the feet of Alexander, who was elevated during the reign (of terror) of the previous Attorney General Gregoire. That is why she is campaigning for the incumbents such as Alexander. He is no friend of the people, as he is taking away our liberties !

Posted by: KS on August 16, 2006 07:52 PM
23.
Don,

If you have such evidence of corruption by all these senior state officials take it to the Fed's. Sounds like "conspiracy day" on Micheal Medved's show. Don the reason I know Alexander is not "corrupt" is because I do in fact know much about the man. I have known him on a personal level for 25 years, and I know him to be a man of principles and ethics..but obviously your mind is made up so my observations won't mean much to you.

Stefan what "bad decisions" are you referring to? I suspect in 33 years you're not going to agree with everything any judge does but it sems to me that he has been on the "right" side of the big decisions Most recently DOMA and The union decision (which he correctly in my opinion dissented). I recall a conversation I had with him where i was giving it to him about the case where the 2nd degree murder convicts got released and he pointed something out that I though was a good insight into his judicial philosophy which was it clearly was a loophole in the law but the legislature screwed up and since the law wasn't there he had no choice but to rule in a very unpopular way, but it was up to the legislature to fix which they ultimatley did. He actually said that to rule any other way would be legislating from the bench which is something he doesn't believe in. We conservatives can't have it both ways..in essence your asking for judicial activism only on the issues you think call for it.

Finally KS what are you talking about? The ACLU?

And by the way I believe Alexander or any other "Chief justice" of the WSSC is actually elected by a vote of the existing justices the sitting governor has no say. I would have no problemvoting for john groen assuming he is atrue conservative but I sure would like to see him get some experience at a lower court or in the legislature.

Enough said about this issue thanks stefan for a great forum.

Posted by: glenn on August 16, 2006 08:21 PM
24. Glenn,

If you know Alexander personally, ask him if he met with me on August 12, 2002 and admitted I was entitled to a judgment against Clark County in the amounty of $1.2 million.

Ask him if he admitted that there is no constitutional provision for the position of appellatre court commissioner; and certainly no authority for them to exercise judicial power.

Ask him if the constitution requires that all decisions from the SC be published and must address the law and the facts.

Ask him why he has never denied these allegations, and many others.

Ask him why he participated in the case regarding the recall of Gregoire when he had a direct personal interest in the case. That is not only a violation of the code of judicial conduct, but a violation of my right to procedural due process.

Ask him why there was not a hearing on the recall of Gregoire.

I don't care how long you have known him, he is corrupt. Maybe you don't know him as well as you think.

Maybe I know something about his darker side that you don't. Then again, naybe you do know that he is corrupt. I have no doubt the court will try to prevent me from calling him as a witness, but it will be unavoidable. When he is on the witness stand, you will see that he is hopelessly corrupt.

I await your answers.

Posted by: Don on August 16, 2006 09:10 PM
25. Alex,

I'm also partial to your dual rating system.
Like Stefan said, it seems fair to acknowledge impressive qualifications when and where they exist, separate and distinct from a ''results-oriented'' review. But it is also very important to recognize and account for the fact the qualifications alone are not nearly enough.

BTW, I think the Constitutional Law PAC is helping to provide a much needed public service;
i.e.: Objectively try and inform the public on what are very important judicial races. It's scary how uninformed many voters are about the judges they are voting for.

Full disclosure: I am a strong supporter of John Groen and Senator Johnson; and a big fan of the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Posted by: Methow Ken on August 16, 2006 09:11 PM
26. +++

From Connelly: "...Jim Johnson went on to narrowly defeat appellate court Judge Mark Kay Becker."

+++ Readers might be shocked to find out that Mark is really MARY. As in Mary Kay Becker!

Posted by: Brent in Ferndale on August 16, 2006 10:18 PM
27. Mr. Sharansky:

Care to give just one instance where Chief Justice Alexander ?invents laws and erodes civil liberties??

Just one.

We are waiting.

Posted by: JDB on August 16, 2006 10:44 PM
28. Faith and Freedom Network has just posted their 06 judicial voter guide. This guide looks at the judicial candidates from a social conservative perspective. www.faithandfreedom.us

Posted by: Jon R. on August 17, 2006 06:06 AM
29. Notices that Alexander refused to answer any of the questions. While a lower court may be bound by a USSC decision, there is no prohibition to offering up his opinion regarding any decision.

He is obviously trying to be a stealth incumbant.

It is good to see that Groen has no problem taking a position on any of the questions.

Posted by: Don on August 17, 2006 07:34 AM
30. jdb/biteme/bedwetter, can you provide just one instance of a lucid moment from you? Just one?

We're not waiting....

Posted by: alphabet soup on August 17, 2006 08:27 AM
31. Soup for Brains:

I see you can't actually address the issue at hands.

Typical.

Posted by: JDB on August 17, 2006 09:21 AM
32. alphabet soup is about as good of an example of a troll as there is. Insulting and always off topic. Strange that Mr. Sharansky bans on topic liberals, but lets a dreck like soup continue to lower his board into the muck.

Posted by: JDB on August 17, 2006 09:25 AM
33. Interesting article about an accident involving Justice Chambers. He claims not to have been aware that vehicle accidents with injuries require a report to police. There is a WA SC case thats states "All sane men are presumed to know the law." Draw your own conclusions.

Does any reasonable person think Chambers did not know a report to the police was required. A more likely explanation is he wanted to hide this incident from the police and the public.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003204596_chambers17m.html

I find it interesting, but no surprise, that the reporter makes no mention of the nature of the relationship bewteen Chambers and Ms. Brown. There is also no mention that Chambers is married to another woman; at least according to his bio on the WA SC web site.

I think it is highly inappropriate for a married man to be visiting a woman at her apartment or to take her for a day-trip on the back of a motorcycle. This would cause a reasonable person to wonder if his wife knew about this 'activity' and approved.

Posted by: Don on August 17, 2006 11:13 AM
34. What a great group of comments (other then a few rants). I have worked on a number of Judicial races and am constantly amazed at how uneducated the voters are. It is great to see a group, other than trial lawyers rating judges. Until this forum, I have always held the opinion that Judges should be appointed, because voters donít know enough about these people to make an informed decision. We have had a number of real whack jobs at both the district and superior court level (think Tricky in King County), I canít wait to see your ratings for lower courts.

Posted by: the duke on August 17, 2006 11:22 AM
35. Waaaaaa! jdb/biteme/mouth-breather!

It's unfortunate (for you, not me - I'm ROTFLMAO!) that you're such an imbecile that you can't see that in your pathetic complaint of my so-called trollish ways (OT and insulting) you don't even realize that you are insulting the very host (Stefan) that you are whining to.

The name is Stefan Sharkansky you dolt! Until you learn how to show some decency & respect no one here is going to give you a second glance (except to point out what a bed-wetting drooler you are!)

Posted by: alphabet soup on August 17, 2006 11:44 AM
36. Still waiting for one instance where Chief Justice Alexander "invents laws and erodes civil liberties."

Just one.

Still waiting.

Anyone?

Posted by: JDB on August 18, 2006 08:11 PM
37. Well, JDB, There was the time when he invented the law that building a baseball stadium could be considered an "emergency". Then there was the Sane Transit decision where he said that agencies could use effectively secret provisions to render themselves unaccountable to voters. Then there was the Hangartner decision when he invented the "overly broad" and unlimited "attorney client privilege" exemptions to the Public Disclosure Act. For more, read the document from CLPAC that I linked to.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on August 18, 2006 08:24 PM
38. JDB,

Try finding a written, published opinion in these two cases, even though Alewxander knows the WA Constitution and statutes require that all decisions of the SC are required to be published:

Supreme Court case No. 69896-1 - Railsback v. Reynolds

Supreme Court Case No. 77345-9 - In Re The Recall of Christine Gregoire as Governor of the State of Washington.

If you want to read more, go to this cite. Might want to go to pages 81-85 first for just two small examples of Alexander's corruption.

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/washrecall/gregoire61305pet.pdf

Posted by: Don on August 19, 2006 12:29 AM
39. What's Stefan's last name jdb/biteme/imbecile?

We're waiting....

Posted by: alphabet soup on August 19, 2006 08:27 AM
40. A good site that gives objective information regarding judges, including information from interest groups like Constitutionl Law PAC is www.votingforjudges.org

Posted by: Helpful for a change on August 21, 2006 09:48 AM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?