When Justice Richard Sanders yelled “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!” from the audience at the U.S. attorney general, The News Tribune lamented his behavior as “hardly judicious” and said it ignored rules of common sense and courtesy (editorial, 12-1, 2008).
In 2009, in response to the publicity about his failure to disqualify himself for a conflict of interest, Sanders said he wouldn’t benefit from the court ruling because any money coming as a result would have gone to his lawyer (TNT, 3-11, 2009).
He would have us believe that he doesn’t personally benefit from a court ruling in which he participates and that pays his lawyer for him. This kind of spurious reasoning is also “hardly judicious,” and when practiced by one of our state supreme court justices erodes public trust in our judiciary.
The court itself sometimes exhibits odd reasoning. In March 2009, it dismissed a claim that an initiative-created law conflicted with the state constitution. Instead, the court called it a “political question” and an “intra-house” dispute (TNT, 3-5, 2009). Ducking this weighty legal issue by categorizing it as a legislative “spat” is hardly judicious also. All in all, it seems like a good time to seek a more judicious supreme court.