California is one of only 33 states that has direct elections for the bench and this push is an attempt by the religious right to push their moral agenda through the courts, to hell with the fundamental principle in this country of separating our church and state.
Vowing to be God's ambassadors on the bench, the four San Diego Superior
Court candidates are backed by pastors, gun enthusiasts, and opponents of
abortion and same-sex marriages.
"We believe our country is under assault and needs Christian values,"
said Craig Candelore, a family law attorney who is one of the group's
candidates. "Unfortunately, God has called upon us to do this only with the
One targeted incumbent, Judge Lantz Lewis said:
"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," he said.
Better Courts Now
says it wants courts to be more accountable to the public. But Lewis said the
group appears to be seeking allegiance to its views - not accountability.
"I just don't think judges should be in a situation, where they are
asked, 'Do you believe in God, abortion, gay marriage?' " he said.
As Benen asks, what's the difference between these guys as judges and the judges currently in Iran and Saudi Arabia? None. But they don't care about that. These are the same people who decry the madrassas that teach "radical" Islam, all the while supporting efforts by evangelicals to pack the School Boards of Texas so their religious views are incorporated throughout the majority of textbooks in our country.
Obviously, we agree that direct election of judges is problematic. Here in SC, our judges are elected by the General Assembly after coming through a Judicial Merit Selection Committee. Even this system has its problems as it is often argued that a whole lot of "horse trading" is behind who gets elected to the bench. But as this nonsense in Ron Burgundy's hometown shows, it's better than some alternatives. Further, where the eff is the California state bar on this? We assume the bar of California, like the bar of South Carolina, requires attorneys to take an oath "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States." When faced with contradictions between the Bible and the Constitution, it is apparent who these "ambassadors of God" will side with. That should automatically disqualify them not only from the bench, but also the bar.
Here's to hoping the voters decide to help San Diego stay classy.