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The Washington Supreme Court Election

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Commenter notablogger tips us to this op-ed by outgoing Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders.  He takes the Seattle Times to task for mischaracterizing his statements about race and incarceration rates and blames that for his election loss.

Notablogger notes, "The irony is that he's probably right.  For all the reasons he should have been tossed off the court long ago, he finally gets fired for the one accurate thing he's ever said about the criminal justice system, i.e., that people are in prison because they are guilty."

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Given the closeness of the election, it is likely true that the uproar over the comments and the Seattle Times' withdrawal of its endorsement did tip the balance. However, why was the election close in the first place? Two other justices coasted to reelection, one of whom was involved in the same comment kerfuffle. Sanders was the only one of the three who had failed to win a majority in the primary and thus faced an opponent on the ballot in the general.

I think that "all the reasons he should have been tossed off the court long ago" were necessary but not sufficient conditions for his actually being tossed.

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