Friday, March 11, 2005

Judge the Judgers

All a Judge is, is a lawyer who continues to wear his graduation gown.

The liberals are whining about Justus Jim Johnson winning his seat on the Bench.


Good for the politicians, good for the judiciary

THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Last updated: March 8th, 2005 02:40 AM
Democrats trying to put caps on campaign contributions in Washington judicial races don’t need to make much of a case. Republicans are doing it for them.

Such caps should not be a controversial idea, especially since other statewide races have had them for years. But they are taking fire in Olympia, where the debate is drawn along partisan lines. Republican lawmakers argue the caps amount to political payback for getting their guy elected to the state Supreme Court.

The critics’ rhetoric betrays the increasing politicization of judicial races and provides the perfect argument for putting limits on judicial campaign contributions.

At the center of the controversy is Jim Johnson, who won a November election to the state’s highest court with the help of $232,000 in contributions from the GOP-allied Building Industry Association of Washington. If Johnson had been running for another statewide race — say, state lands commissioner or governor — state law would have limited BIAW’s contribution to $2,700.

House Bill 1226, sponsored by State Rep. Shay Schual-Berke (D-Normandy Park), would simply require judicial candidates to play by the same rules that govern other statewide candidates.

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Special-interest groups have started to target the handful of states like Washington that don’t put limits on donations to judicial campaigns. In one of those states, Illinois, a 2004 race for state Supreme Court cost $9 million, topping fundraising in more than half of the U.S. Senate races the same year and breaking the record for the most expensive judicial race in American history.

Who are these special-interest groups any way? I want to know.

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