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State Judicial Independence – A National Concern

Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor called for an end to judicial elections at a Sept. 14 conference at Seattle University School of Law that sparked conversation about the critical issue of how judges are chosen. Distinguished experts spoke on panels throughout the day.

Click on any photo to view a larger image. Photos by Marcus Donner.
Justice O’ Connor and Professor Heidi Bond, her former clerk, enjoyed a reunion at the law school. Justice O’Connor laughs during her keynote address calling for an end to judicial elections. Professor David Skover, co-chair of the conference, thanks the justice.
Professor from Practice John McKay served as a moderator for a panel discussion on the debate on the subject of choosing judges by a commission system with panelists, from left: Christian Sinderman, Northwest Passage Consulting; Doug Lawrence, WSBA Task Force Chair; Washington Chief Justice Gerry Alexander; Justice O'Connor; Retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice Hans Linde; Marty Brown, governor Gregoire's legislative director; Texas Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Kate Riley, Seattle Times. Washington Chief Justice Gerry Alexander and Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson were among the distinguished panelists. Professor Andrew Siegel makes a point during the session on the Caperton v. Massey ruling.
Panelist Kathleen M. Sullivan, the Stanley Morrison Professor at Stanford Law School Dean Annette Clark welcomes a packed house to the conference. Ruth Walsh McIntyre, chair or the Walsh Commission, moderates the town hall session with panelists, from left, William Anderson, professor emeritus, University of Washington; Zaida Arguedas, League of Women Voters; Judge William Baker, retired from the Washington State Court of Appeals; Professor David Brody, Washington State University; Washington State Sen. Lisa Brown; Texas Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, Kate Riley, Seattle Times; Ron Ward, Jones and Ward, and Utah Chief Justice Christine Durham.
Ron Collins, a scholar at the First Amendment Center and conference co-chair, asks the audience, is justice for sale? Mary McQueen ’85, president of the National Center for State Courts, left, and Washington State Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens University President Steve Sundborg, S.J., introduces Justice O’Connor.

View video from the conference sessions.

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