This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
Richard B. Sanders is one of a kind on a court that often doesn’t see matters his way. We like that about him, and we like that about the state Supreme Court.
Sanders is easily the most controversial justice of the state’s nine.
He’s earned the ire of police and prosecutors for his unyielding defense of defendants’ rights. He did time in the national spotlight a couple of years back for yelling “Tyrant!” at former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
He’s also skirted the boundaries of good sense, if not judicial ethics, by chatting up sex offenders at the McNeil Island sex predator center and by not recusing himself from a court decision that posed a possible conflict of interest.
But here’s the rub: Besides being a thorough supporter of open government, Sanders is also the court’s biggest champion of individual rights. He forces the court to deal with basic constitutional issues. Having his voice in the mix as decisions are made ensures stronger rulings, whether his opinion carries the day or not.