Judicial elections typically have low voter turnout. Last summer, however, four conservative Christian candidates sought to replace the incumbent judges — all Democrats — on the San Diego Superior Court, generating significant interest.
“This is the first known conservative campaign to influence the election of judges in California,” as ChristianPost.com reported at the time. “But Better Courts Now seeks to change that by rallying conservative voters to support judges who reflect their values.”
“Those who govern are accountable to the people,” stated Better Courts Now on its website. “As a branch of government, judges don’t get to hold themselves apart from the people – they are servants of the people.” The BCN candidates were supported by opponents of abortion and same-sex marriage as well as by El Cajon Gun Exchange, as the article said. (See the video below).
Three of the four candidates were given low ratings by the San Diego County’s Bar Association, according to ChristianPost.com. The bar rated them as “lacking some or all of the qualities of professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function in a satisfactory mode.”
In response to the low ratings, Better Courts Now accused the association of being partial to the incumbent judges and engaging in a “flurry of campaign activity” to support the sitting judges, the ChristianPost.com continued. The election was held on June 8.
All four lawyers lost their bids to be judges, receiving no more than 35 to 40 percent of the votes in each race.
“Lantz Lewis, a judge for 20 years, said his opponent’s campaign took judicial elections in the wrong direction. ‘I have no problem with elections, but I think it really should focus on a judge’s qualifications, and it’s very difficult to think something good could come out of a partisan judicial election,’ as PRWatch.org reported.
“Opponents fear that the strategy used in the San Diego, if it spreads, could transform courtroom benches much like some school boards, which have seen an increasing number of social and religious ‘conservatives’ win seats and push for issues such as prayer in classrooms, PRWatch.org continued.
An article “Sandra Day O’Connor: Stop electing judges” is here.