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Jim Johnson will seek second term on Washington state Supreme Court

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on March 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
March 10, 2010 2:38 pm

Jim Johnson won a seat on the state Supreme Court in 2004 on his second run for the high court. He announced today he will run for another six-year term.

Johnson is one of the court’s conservatives. He was in private legal practice when he ran for the court but had been an assistant attorney general for 20 years. He handled legal issues and litigation for Fish and Wildlife and the Secretary of State.

The Seattle native attended Harvard University and received his law degree from the University of Washington.

Here’s the announcement: Justice Jim Johnson Announces Reelection Campaign

Olympia, WA – Justice James M. “Jim” Johnson today announced the start of his reelection campaign.

“Six years ago the people of Washington elected me to our state’s highest court because of my pledge to defend the constitution as written,” said Johnson. “I’ve kept that pledge and now I’m asking the people to return me to the state Supreme Court.”

Johnson has been an influential figure on the state’s highest court, writing over 131 opinions, including 83 majorities and concurrences in majority. Amongst his majority opinions are landmark defenses of civil rights, including religious freedom (City of Woodinville v. North Shore United Church of Christ), free speech (Rickert v. State) and the right of initiative and referendum (Coppernoll et al. v. Reed).

Johnson has written several noteworthy dissents in addition to his substantial number of majorities. In State v. Sutherby he memorably noted that there should not be a “volume discount” for sexual violence against children. In Central Puget Sound Reg. Transit Auth. v. Miller Johnson defended both open government and property rights when he objected to the use of a vague internet posting by a public agency to initiate the use of eminent domain.

State Attorney General Rob McKenna praised Johnson’s commitment to constitutional rights and his record on law and order.

“In his six years on the state Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson has demonstrated his commitment to liberty and the law,” said McKenna. “A forceful voice for the constitution, every citizen in this state is freer and safer because of his leadership on our state’s highest court.”

Jim and his wife Kathy have two grown daughters, Heather and Stephanie. Heather is an elementary school principal and Stephanie works for a network news operation. Jim’s hobbies include diving, sail boat racing, shooting and opera.

Voters may visit www.jimjohnsonforjustice.org for more information and to support the Justice’s reelection effort.

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