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Justice for Washington gives just one judicial candidate it’s top rating — Supreme Court candidate Bruce Hilyer

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on July 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm with No Comments »
July 24, 2012 3:21 pm

Only King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer received that top evaluation by a group that describes itself as the only non-partisan rating group focused only on appellate court candidates. Hilyer, one of four candidates running for an open seat on the state Supreme Court, received the only rating of “exceptionally well qualified.”

That means that two incumbent justices — one running for reelection and one running for election following an appointment — were given lower ratings by Justice for Washington. They are Justice Susan Owens was was rating as “qualified” and Justice Steven Gonzalez who was rated “well qualified.”

Hillyer’s rivals and their ratings are John Ladenburg (“well qualified”), Richard Sanders (“qualified”) and Sheryl McCloud (“qualified.”)

The two men challenging Owens were both rated “unqualified” by the group. They are Douglas McQuaid and Scott Stafne.

Gonzalez’ challenger, Bruce Danielson was not rated.

Here is the full press release from the group

Justice for Washington Rates
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Candidates

The Justice for Washington Foundation released its bi-partisan 2012 rating for appellate level
judicial candidates in the contested races for the state Supreme Court and Division II of the
Court of Appeals.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Justice for Washington Foundation released its 2012 evaluations
for contested appealate court elections in Washington State. The Foundation operates
the state’s only expressly bi-partisan evaluation of appellate level judicial candidates.
The Foundation rated only one candidate as “exceptionally well qualified” and four
as “unqualified”.

Washington State Supreme Court, Position #2

Susan Owens – Qualified
Douglas McQuaid – Unqualified
Scott Stafne – Unqualified

Washington State Supreme Court, Position #8

Steve Gonzalez – Well Qualified

Washington State Supreme Court, Position #9

Bruce Hilyer – Exceptionally Well Qualified
John Ladenburg – Well Qualified
Richard Sanders – Qualified
Sheryl Gordon McCloud – Qualified

Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, District 2 (Clallam, Jefferson, Grays
Harbor, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston Counties)

Pam Loginsky – Well Qualified
Tom Bjorgen – Well Qualified

Michael Lynch – Well Qualified
Tom Weaver – Qualified
Brendan Williams – Unqualified
Jim Foley – Unqualified

The member of the committee were:

Jerry Rubin – Democrat with the law firm of Stoel Rives
Chris Bayley – Republican and former King County Prosecutor.
Phil Sorenson – Democrat with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office
Alex Hays – Republican and Executive Director of the Mainstream Republicans of
Washington. Mr. Hays is actively supporting a candidate in the Division II District 2
Court of Appeals race and recused himself from that evaluation.

The Justice for Washington Foundation works to preserve a well qualified elected judiciary
committed to judicial restraint. The Foundation also works to educate the public about the
history and content of the Washington State Constitution.

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