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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Film at 11 -- not

Some breaking news in my e-mail inbox:

It's official -- we'll vote on a Portland city income tax in May. The City Council will refer a measure to voters. So says Super Vicki in a press release this afternoon.

Surprise -- Jack Roberts is apparently going to run for Oregon Supreme Court against Virginia Linder. Even though he said he wouldn't might not run against a woman.*

It's over -- the recall campaign against Judge Mary Mertens James, who invalidated Measure 37, has petered out.

We return you now to your regularly scheduled surfing...

* UPDATE, 1/12, 1:00 a.m.: As the exchange in the comments below reveals, Jack Roberts never said that he would not run against a woman. In fact, he said something vaguer than that on the subject. The details are in the comments. Apologies for the confusion.

Comments (23)

Jack, I never said I wouldn't run against a woman. I said that if a woman ran and it looked like she would win if I didn't run then I might not run.

The problem is that Virginia Linder and Eugene Hallman are both running and it is by no means certain that Judge Linder would win even if I didn't run.

I have also heard from a lot of people who believe diversity is about more than gender. We can also use a little diversity in philosophy and life experience. Simply elevating another court of appeals judge (we have five on the Supreme Court already) or a lawyer from the attorney general's office (we have three of those) does not necessarily result in diversity because it is a female rather than a male.

Having said that, I continue to believe Judge Linder is a fine judge and would make a good Supreme Court justice. But I believe the voters should be given a choice. After all, our last two governors had the chance to put a woman on the bench yet their last two appointments went to men.

So just to ask, whats your source for the Jack Roberts news?(other than his implied admittance that he's running up above)

A little bird told me... 8c)

if a woman ran and it looked like she would win if I didn't run then I might not run.

From the interview I was remembering:


I read in the paper that you would consider dropping out if a well-qualified woman were to enter the race?


Those were the words that they used. What I actually told them was, if a really strong woman candidate came in who looked like she had a good chance of winning, I might not run. That would be because then it would be a more contested race… and the problem is, I don’t know who that woman would be, but if there was someone there, then I think it would be a legitimate issue and I’d have to take a look at it.

So I take it Judge Linder either is not "a really strong woman candidate" or does not have "a good chance of winning"?

""""It's over -- the recall campaign against Judge Mary Mertens James, who invalidated Measure 37, has petered out."""""
Petered out?
The way I heard it was SOS Bill Bradbury voided 10,000 valid signatures for not having the intiative number on the pages before they were signed.
Is it all about forgeries or stopping public votes?

Yawn. It's over, Wendy. You spin it however you want.

maybe the people wanting to recall James should recall Bradbury first...

Or... maybe the people wanting to recall her should "recall" the whole judicial system.

According to the Eugene Register-Guard, Steffens and pals say "they wanted to show judges and the government that citizens won't tolerate court rulings that don't conform to the voters' will".

What do we need judges for anyhow? We'll just conduct weekly polls and rule according to whatever direction the political wind is blowing. Constitution, schmonstitution. If the people want it, then it must true, right, and just.

I need to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure requiring the state to give every citizen a five pound box of JaCiva's finest. Anyone who gets in the way of the will (and chocolate lust) of the people be damned.

Okay, Jack, what part of "I might not run" and "I'd have to take a look at it" are you having trouble with? I never said I wouldn't run if a woman ran. I put off making my decision for two months after Judge Linder made her announcement precisely to consider the factors I mentioned.

I think you need to seek elsewhere to find the latest fix to support your cynicism habit. It is precisely this tendency to misrepresent statements and lift them out of context that makes people in the public arena reluctant to speak openly and honestly about their plans and intentions.

this tendency to misrepresent statements and lift them out of context

The material I quoted in the comment above was a direct question, and an answer that you gave, right on point. I hardly "lifted" anything "out of context." It is the full question and answer, and I linked to the full interview.

As for my original post, I am sorry I read your Clintonesque interview answer so carelessly.

I am disturbed that the gender of one's potential opponent plays any role in whether or not one will run for public office.

Ellie, neither I nor Jack Roberts first raised that issue. It was raised by others in two interviews he gave last year. What I addressed here was the consistency of his action now with an answer he gave then.

Of course, that's not exactly what Jack Roberts said over on BlueOregon.

Therefore, if Judge Linder demonstrates the ability to be a strong candidate with a good chance to win, I would be inclined not to make this race. However, Gene Hallman has a head start and a strong organization raising money and getting endorsements for him.

I believe I can overcome this, but Judge Linder needs to demonstrate that she can. I will be watching her campaign to see if she does this before making a final decision as to what I intend to do. In any event, I am encouraged that she is thinking of running and I wish her the best.

So, it appears that Jack's decided that Ginny can't beat Gene Hallman.

[Disclaimer: I'm going to be launching Hallman's website any day now.]

"I think you need to seek elsewhere to find the latest fix to support your cynicism habit. It is precisely this tendency to misrepresent statements and lift them out of context..."

Geez, Jack R., you might want to work on a judicious attitude if you hope to be on the court.

Give the guy a break. It was late at night, and I did misquote him. But it was an accident.

In any event, not an auspicious start to the campaign.

We definitely need judges; I would even be so bold as to say an independent judiciary. But I think there is a real question about whether we have that. I heard Dan Meek say that the Oregon Supreme Court made up facts to side with Bradbury in the Nader election case, and Greg Kafoury say that law clerks in Salem were calling it the Bush v. Gore of Oregon. I think the MM James recall was a bad idea because it distracts attention away from the bigger picture and the real issues. Judges can certainly thwart "the will of the people" to strike down an unconstitutional law. It is MM James' constitutional anaysis that worries me. Also, recall is meant to apply to corrupt, not incompetent judges. We hear the same refrain coming from the O about the Portland police who failed to investigate the second hand store theft ring: they are incompetent, not corrupt. I think , though, that when there is widespread incompetence in high places, corruption lurks somewhere close by.

Cynthia wrote
""""Also, recall is meant to apply to corrupt, not incompetent judges""""""""

If the Oregon Supreme Court throws out all of Judge James' decision points with an opinion that the judge stepped outside the constitution herself.

Incompetence is one thing but suppose Judge James knew exactly what she was doing in stepping outside the constitution. Would that not be a form of corruption?

I am not accusing but simply curious.

Is it not possible for a judge or any public official to deliberately step outside the bounds of their responsibility thereby committing maleficence worthy of recall?

Or is there any level of incompetence that is on par with maleficence?

You should read James' opinion at measure 37 .com. I have been practicing for almost 30 years and it is one of the wackiest rulings i have ever seen. the judge simply makes up the law. any first year law student would find it incredulous. her confusion concerning whether the people can limit the legistature by constitutionally provided public vote is insane. think a minute..what state wide statutory initiative doesn't address or have some effect on the power of the legislature..it is a STATUTORY INITIATIVE..it must effect the power of the legislature by definition ..it is as if the people in portland vote to overturn the public financing of elections and the city commissioners do it anyway..she completely emasculates the referendum process..in short, it is a fine example of the tyranny or the judiciary that some judges seem to ascribe to..the people do not know what is good for them and i do...what arrogance...with respect to the equal protection argument, the judge either doesn't understand the initiative or needs to take 1st year constitutional law. She basis this ruling upon whacko ruling number 1 and compounds it by not being able to distiguish between those who purchased before the regulation and those who purchased after with knowledge of the limitations on the use of the property.. in summary, this was a hatchet job..done with a blunt edge...

SS and RW: Both of your comments make sense to me. I see it as a hatchet job and over the line in terms of ethics. My disgust is compounded by the fact that MMJ-before her appointment to the bench- allowed herself to be recruited to run Judge Ed Fadeley off the bench. IMHO and the opinion of others of many polictical persuasions, Fadeley was about as independent and competent of a jurist as we have had in the state in recent years. He wasn't subject to political manipulation and, therein, methinks, lies the problem. People ought to be alarmed: I once had a client whose father was from the old Yugoslavia; he said he had lived under some of the most notoriously corrupt regimes on earth and had seen nothing quite like the Oregon court system.In is opinion, Oregon is up there with the worst.

Fadeley was about as independent and competent of a jurist as we have had in the state in recent years.


Steve, My guess is that there is intent for a hatchet job somewhere, probably with the lawyers that influenced James. But it would be hard to prove and a recall campaign just allows people who don't deserve the moral high ground to take it. After all THEY wouldn't interfere with a matter before the court. Yeah?

At least Fadeley, whom I believe was first in his law school class, seemed actually to read the briefs submitted in a case and to make decisions on the merits rather than on the political correctness of the lawyer or the claim.

Sorry for the afterthought: Someone I read recently used the term "Boobris" to refer to those who don't quite merit a finding of hubris. I would apply that to most of the judges on our appellate courts. I wouldn't be so nice to the crowd that controls judicial selection.

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