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Seattle Times




Sheryl McCloud for Supreme Court:
Trial attorney Sheryl McCloud is The Seattle Times choice to replace retiring state Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers.

August 17, 2012 ó At the Washington Supreme Court, Sheryl McCloud of Bainbridge Island is the best choice to replace retiring Justice Tom Chambers, who has served on the court since 2000.

Like Chambers, McCloud is a trial attorney. She has long experience representing people in appellate trials, appearing many times in front of the state's highest court, including civil rights and death penalty cases. She knows the state constitution and the law thoroughly and is rated highly by the major bar associations.

She has a record of defending people's rights, and a calm judicial manner. At 56, she is young enough to serve three six-year terms before reaching the high court's mandatory retirement age of 75.

Her opponent, Richard Sanders, lost his seat on the court in 2010 after a 15-year run as its chief dissenter. Sanders was a champion of the individual against government on such issues as free speech, public disclosure, privacy, ballot measures and property rights.

Sanders could be injudicious and intemperate, such as in 2008, when he stood up in an audience of the Federalist Society and shouted "Tyrant!" at U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Sanders has been retired, and should accept it. It is time for voters to choose someone else.

The Times recommends Chris Washington

for King County Superior Court

The Seattle Times endorses Judge Chris Washington for King County Superior Court, reversing its earlier endorsement of Suzanne Parisien.

October 11, 2012 ó Judge Chris Washington should be re-elected to the King County Superior Court.

The Times' recommendation is changed from the primary election, in which we endorsed a challenger, Suzanne Parisien, a former state assistant attorney general. Parisien has since turned down the King County Bar Associationís request to appear at a public forum with Judge Washington. She has declined to be rated by the associations representing African American, Latino, gay, female and Jewish attorneys. She has few endorsements and has raised almost no money, seemingly coasting on primary endorsements from The Times and The Stranger.

The Times declined to endorse Washington earlier mainly because of a King County Bar Association poll of attorneys who rated him the lowest of 52 judges. But professor David Brody of Washington State University, who was the associationís consultant on the poll, showed that the score was low because 20 prosecutors manipulated it. The prosecutors were angry with Judge Washington for letting off a juvenile criminal on a light sentence. They rated him low on all 16 questions, most of which had nothing do with their complaint against him. They were trying to sink him.

We agree with the prosecutors about that case, in which Washington let off a 17-year-old who kicked Seattle Police Officer Jason McKissack in the head. Thirty days was too light a sentence. But we have been assured by an outpouring of judges and attorneys that Washington is a good judge and that it is unfair to cashier him for a handful of errors in hundreds of rulings.

It is also a risk to put the robe of the Superior Court on a person who has never been a judge and who shies from the scrutiny of the legal profession., P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
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