Rumbaugh Throws Hat in for Supreme Court Bid Against Jim Johnson
In a bit of shake up for Washington Supreme Court elections this year, trial lawyer Stan Rumbaugh has decided to take on Justice Jim Johnson, one of the more junior justices. We at the Amateur Law Professor fully support and endorse Rimbaugh in his bid. While Jim Johnson has been an advocate for open government, his stance on many other issues just fall far to right of center in order to warrant his continued operation on the bench.
*EDIT* My apologies for getting Stan's name wrong in the initial post. No offense was intended.
The full article from the Olympian after the jump.
Trial lawyer wants to take on Justice Johnson
A Pierce County trial lawyer, Stan Rumbaugh, says he is filing to run for the state Supreme Court against conservative, one-term Justice James Johnson.
Rumbaugh, who had not actually filed by 5 p.m. Tuesday, put out a news release that flatly accused Johnson of siding with corporations, insurers and the state builders' lobby. Johnson's campaign responded almost as caustically, saying Rumbaugh has never done appellate work and is "unqualified" for the Supreme Court.
This developing challenge to Johnson was one of the few surprises on Tuesday, the second day of candidate filing week in Washington's 2010 election cycle.
Otherwise, it mostly was candidates who previously declared their plan to run who put down their money and filed. Of course there were more perennial long shots who filed -- such as Mike the Mover from Mill Creek who filed as a Democrat against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the three-term Democratic incumbent. Mover joins another perennial candidate Goodspaceguy of Seattle in filing against Murray.
Also filing Tuesday: Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, seeking a fourth term in position 5; and Justice Richard Sanders, seeking another term in position 6; Bainbridge Island lawyer Charlie Wiggins filed Monday against Sanders. Wiggins is questioning the conduct of Sanders, a libertarian and longtime defender of individual rights who was admonished by the court over his visits to a sex offender facility in 2005.
There also were filings in local legislative races: -- 2nd district: Republican Rep. Jim McCune of Graham filed for another term in position 1; Republican J.T. Wilcox of McKenna filed for position 2 against Republican Rep. Tom Campbell, who filed Monday. -- 22nd district: Rep. Sam Hunt, an Olympia Democrat, filed for position 2. Democrats Chris Reykdal of Tumwater and Judi Hoefling of Tumwater have filed for position 2. -- 35th district: Republican Linda Simpson of Bremerton filed as a Republican to challenge Rep. Fred Finn, D-Thurston County, for position 2; Finn and independent Glenn Gaither of Hoodsport already filed.
It's too early to say how rough and tumble the judicial races are going to be. But Rumbaugh's campaign put out this statement that sets a certain tone:
“I am excited for the opportunity to bring balance, independence and the perspectives of families and working people to the Court,” said Rumbaugh. “The incumbent has shown a troubling, deeply ideological perspective in his opinions, siding almost exclusively with corporations, the insurance industry, and the conservative BIAW—one of his main campaign contributors. We deserve a true commitment to fairness and the rule of law.”
Active in Pierce County outside his legal career, Rumbaugh has served on the Boards of Bates Technical College, Tacoma Housing Authority, health care and social services groups, and other organizations vital to the community. He believes this varied experience will enable him to bring the perspectives of regular Washingtonians to the court, along with clear recognition that the primary mission of the Supreme Court is to secure the right of all citizens, from all walks of life, to fair-minded and impartial administration of the law.
“The contrast in this race is clear: an advocate for the people against an advocate for the powerful,” said Rumbaugh. “Our state constitution maintains judicial elections so the courts don’t lose touch with the citizens of Washington. Johnson was elected with a flood of special interest money, and unfortunately it shows in his opinions. We deserve better, and what's more, the citizens of Washington State are entitled to better.”
Alex Hays, a spokesman for Johnson's campaign, returned the flattery.
"Mr. Rumbaugh has no judicial experience, no appellate experience; he is unqualified to serve on the state Supreme Court,'' Hays said. "If you've never participated at the appellate level, how do you participate in [opinion] writing? His only work is being a personal injury attorney at the trial court level. This explains why he is making baseless attacks against Justice Johnson. It is his only recourse.''