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Richard Sanders


Washington Supreme Court

Position 9

Richard Sanders

Legal/Judicial Experience: I served on the Supreme Court until 2011, first elected in 1995; and reelected in 1998 and 2004. I wrote more opinions than any other current Justice. Before that, I practiced law for 26 years. I also served as an adjunct professor teaching appellate advocacy at the UW School of Law, and guest lectured on state constitutional law at Seattle University.

Other Professional Experience: I am an Eagle Scout and played for the University of Washington in the Rose Bowl. (French horn!)

Education: B.S. and J.D., University of Washington

Community Service: I frequently lectured and wrote many legal articles and opinion pieces explaining our constitutional rights.

Statement: Why has Justice Tom Chambers endorsed Richard Sanders to take his seat on the Court? Because he knows Richard is a person of unquestioned integrity, devoted to protecting the rights of all citizens.

Article 1, Section 1 of our constitution states: “governments...are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” I believe that’s also the job description of a Supreme Court Justice: we must look out for the “little guy” and protect citizen rights. Sometimes this makes me seem conservative, as when I support property rights, and sometimes it makes me seem liberal, as when I fight for free speech and personal rights to privacy. But I am consistent: we have rights the government must not violate.

Thomas Jefferson said the God who gave us life gave us liberty as well. It’s a good thought to remember. I have support that cuts across the spectrum, with endorsements including: the State Republican and Libertarian Parties; legislators; judges and civil libertarians-- and more than 1,000 endorsers, including the Association of Washington Business and Washington Realtors.

Richard Sanders has earned our support and protected our rights. Vote to return Sanders to the Supreme Court.

Campaign web site: | Facebook  
Opponent: Sheryl Gordon McCloud
Video Voters' Guide:


Candidate ratings:

Cardozo Society Exceptionally
Well Qualified
Joint Asian

Evaluation Committee
Well Qualified *
Justice for Washington
Qualified Qualified
King County
Bar Association
Well Qualified
Well Qualified
Q-Law: The GLBT
Bar Association

of Washington
Well Qualified *
Seattle Metropolitan
Elections Committee
* Hostile
Tacoma-Pierce County
Bar Association
Well Qualified
Washington Association
of Prosecuting Attorneys
Not Qualified Not Qualified
Washington Defense
Trial Lawyers
Well Qualified Declined
Women Lawyers
Qualified *

Important note! Each of these organizations uses its own standards and rating terms when evaluating candidates; please check their pages for further information. We do not have ratings from all organizations for all candidates, and the reasons vary. Some evaluations may still be in process, or we might not have received them yet; some candidates may not have been offered an opportunity to participate, or they may have declined to participate. Again, please check the organizations' pages for further details.


Newspaper endorsements (click paper for details):

The Columbian  
Kitsap Sun  
Seattle Times  
Tacoma News Tribune  
Tri-City Herald  
Yakima Herald  
Yakima Valley
Business Times

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin  


Finance report:

See individual contributors:
Sheryl Gordon McCloud
Richard Sanders

Media stories:
    October 25, 2012   State Supreme Court race pits veteran against newcomer
    October 12, 2012
The Olympian   Sanders, McCloud face off for Supreme Court
    October 5
Seattle Times   Supreme Court candidates with similar passions stress their differences
    October 2, 2012
Yakima Herald   State Supreme Court candidates make a case for experience vs. leadership
    September 26, 2012   Outspoken ex-justice making another run for Washington's Supreme Court
    August 28, 2012
The Stranger   He's Back!
    August 14, 2012
Seattle Times   Sanders, McCloud advance in Supreme Court race
Peninsula Daily News   Sanders, McCloud look to be finalists in state Supreme Court election
    August 9, 2012
Seattle P-I   Ex-Justice Sanders is comeback kid - for now
    August 8, 2012
Seattle Times   Apparent win for Gonzalez; Sanders in tight race
    July 31, 2012
JTNews   Jews on the ballot: Sheryl Gordon McCloud
    July 29, 2012
The Olympian   4 candidates want to replace justice on state supreme court
Ellensburg Daily Record   Trio of Supreme Court Position 9 hopefuls respond to questionnaire
    July 26, 2012   Open Supreme Court Seat Makes For Vigorous Race
    July 23, 2012
Seattle Times   Richard Sanders faces 3 rivals in Supreme Court comeback bid
    July 22, 2012
Seattle P-I   Challengers no-shows at Supreme Court forum
    July 1, 2012
Yakima Herald   Former justice hoping to fill vacant Supreme Court seat, P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
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As the election approaches, will include ratings and endorsements from numerous organizations. We provide this information so that voters will be better informed about the candidates. We do not rate or endorse any candidates; the ratings and endorsements of organizations included at this site reflect the views of those individual organizations and not necessarily the views of or its sponsors.