San Diego Judges
JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT? FACEBOOK POSTS, LAWSUIT RAISE JUDGMENT ISSUES IN CONTENTIOUS SUPERIOR COURT RACE
By Miriam Raftery
May 30, 2012 (San Diego) –Accusations are flying in the contentious race for San Diego Superior Court seat 25. Candidate Jim Miller has been removed as a Judge Pro Tem by the Superior Court—and now he’s crying foul.
Miller claims he’s a victim of dirty politics. He’s accused one of his opponents, Robert Amador, of involvement in his ouster, a claim denied by Amador, who previously sued Miller over ballot statement claims.
Miller maintains he knows of no legitimate reason for the court to remove him from its list of approved Judges Pro Tem.
Posts on Miller’s Facebook page, however reveal some intemperate remarks made about cases he heard while serving as a Judge Pro Tem--as well as barbed criticisms of local attorneys, judges, and parties in cases he handled as a lawyer.
June 9, 2010 – Perhaps the most stinging defeat in San Diego’s June 8th California election went to conservative Christian judges backed by Better Courts Now, an organization seeking to oust four incumbent judges.
All four sitting judges won by hefty margins, each garnering about two-thirds of the vote. Judges Lantz Lewis, Joel Wholfeil, Robert Longstreth and DeAnn Salcido all won reelection.
Conservative group's candidates found not qualified for judicial positions by County Bar
May 24, 2010 (San Diego) – Judicial races are rarely headline news. But an organization called “Better Courts Now” founded by the late Don Hamer, an East County pastor, has lined up a slate of right-wing candidates to challenge four incumbent judges.
The group’s website states that judges should be accountable, uphold the law and make fair, impartial decisions—yet does not cite a single instance in which the incumbents failed on any specific point. (Better Courts Now notes that doing so would violate Canon 5 of the California Code of Judicial Ethics, which prohibits judicial candidates from leveling specific criticisms against opponents.)
Better Courts Now’s candidates were not found qualified for the positions they seek by the County Bar Association. In response, Better Courts Now has accused the Bar of "blatant political bias" and noted that Larry Stanwood Johnson, chair of the Bar's Certified Family Law Specialists Committee, has solicited donations from Committee members for the incumbent judges.