October 29, 2010

California Supreme Court candidates hit the campaign trail . . . sort of

We’ve written two posts about the California Supreme Court confirmation/retention election on Tuesday’s ballot, when the people will vote “yes” or “no” on two sitting justices (Ming Chin and Carlos Moreno) and California’s Chief Justice designee (Tani Cantil-Sakauye).

But, with no opponents and no organized opposition, how do these judges campaign? One way is appearing on the California Channel’s Free Airtime Project 2010. Along with many other candidates for statewide offices, Justices Chin, Moreno, and Cantil-Sakauye sat for 30-minute interviews that are available on-line.

The interviews give a rare look at the justices’ personal backgrounds and their views on many matters judicial. For example, Cantil-Sakauye sees a threat to judicial independence when judges have to raise money for campaigns (see 13:50 of her interview), hopes to focus on increased electronic communication and alternative dispute resolution as Chief Justice (see 20:40), and encourages the United States Supreme Court to televise its proceedings as the California Supreme Court sometimes does (see 22:15). One of the reasons she gives for why people should vote for her is her background as “an outsider looking in” who can empathize with those now in that position (see 28:30).

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