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Not So Fast! BAS 2014 ENDORSEMENT SUPPLEMENT:Here Come The (Rest of) The Judges

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So, we here at BAS would be remiss in our endorsements and voter guide if we didn’t cover everything that you’ll be seeing on your ballot this coming Tuesday.  We realized this while testing out the very helpful Where’s My Fucking Polling Place?  And as it happens, we left out thirteen offices.  Yes, THIRTEEN, but we weren’t the only ones.


Turns out our pick for Superior court Justice, Daniel Flores wasn’t the only judge on the ballot,  but pretty much no one even mentions the rest of the non-partisan judicial seats that you need to decide upon this November 4th.  Mostly because they aren’t really contested offices, like Daniel’s and you’re essentially voting “yes” or “no” the same you would on, say, a proposition.


Which is why we think it’s kinda weird to simply check a box without knowing anything about what you’re checking.  So we decided to turn to our guest legal analyst, local social justice lawyer and Harvey Milk Club Organizing Chair, Lee Hepner.  We did some research and found some interesting tidbits here and there.  For example, Associate Justice Pollak has been around for a while- like was a staffer on the Warren Commission kind of a while.  Still there is surprisingly little to go with online alone, so Lee filled us in with background on not just the candidates but the offices themselves.


So, here are our picks for the non-partisan judicial seats this Tuesday:




Associate Justice of the Supreme Court GOODWIN LIU: YES


Associate Justice of the Supreme Court MARIANO- FLORENTINO CUELLAR: YES


Associate Justice of the Supreme Court KATHRYN MICKLE WERDEGAR: YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, JIM HUMES (District 1, Division 1): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, KATHLEEN M. BANKE (District 1, Division1): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, J. ANTHONY KLINE (District 1, Division 2): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, THERESE M. STEWART (District 1, Division 2): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, STUART R. POLLAK (District 1, Division 3): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, MARTIN J. JENKINS (District 1, Division 3): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, IGNAZIO JOHN RUVULO (District 1, Division 4): NO


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, MARK B. SIMONS (District 1, Division 5): YES


Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, TERENCE L. BRUINIERS (District 1, Division 5): ?


Here’s Lee to break things down for us:

“The long and short of what these justices do is they review decisions of lower courts for legal merit and accuracy. It’s incredibly important work, which ultimately shapes lower court opinions into the broader contours that govern our daily lives. They’re like the elder sages of our state judicial system. Maybe a bit like those Pre-Cogs in Minority Report, which is a movie I saw a decade ago, so I can’t be sure if that analogy holds up.


State appellate justices are appointed for a specific term, and both their appointment and retention for further terms are subject to voter approval in the general elections. The reason we don’t see them out there campaigning is largely because they are viewed as non-partisan positions. If they receive a simple majority of votes case, their appointments and retention are confirmed.


As for the candidates, both Therese Stewart (appointed this year) and Jim Humes (up for retention, appointed in 2012) are out LGBT candidates for confirmation at to the First District Court of Appeal. Jim Humes was the first openly gay justice appointed to the California Court of Appeal and Therese Stewart will be the first out lesbian confirmed to the 1DCA. But while that context is significant, what matters even more is that Humes was a highly respected attorney general under both governors Jerry Brown AND Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Therese M. Stewart was widely respected during her decade-plus tenure as a City Attorney in San Francisco. Therese Stewart was an instrumental member of the team that led the City Attorney’s Office in challenging Proposition 8.


Judge Humes is (I believe) the most senior member of the 1DCA……..and he’s been at this a long time. He has a reputation among lawyers for being “no-nonsense”, incredibly smart, and always well-prepared. He’s also committed to the law – to the extent that he almost got in some serious trouble for disobeying an opinion of the CA Supreme Court, which allowed for stipulated reversals (i.e. extra-legal agreements).


Pollack is also an old-timer, respected for being intellectually honest and his candor on the bench.


Ruvolo is known to be one of the more conservative justices on the bench, drawing strong dissents from more liberal justices.


All 3 CA Supreme Court nominees – Liu (for retention), Cuéllar (for appointment), and Werdegar (for retention) – have solid reputations and should be confirmed. Liu and Cuellar are pretty young, and both were nominated by Governor Brown during his current term.”


There it is, kids.  Sorry for the delay, but you can now, officially, walk into that booth knowing just about every goddamn thing you need to know about this super-duper, important election day.  Go out there an make your voice heard!  AND REMEMBER:




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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.