Tag Archives: Justice Susan Owens

Vote for Justice Susan Owens for Washington State Supreme Court

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens survived the Building Industry Association of Washington’s megabucks primary campaign but she still has to beat her general election opponent on Nov 7, 2006.

Her opponent is the BIAW endorsed conservative Republican legislator Stephen Johnson.

Why vote for Justice Owens?

Two words sum up the difference – experience and independence.

Justice Owens has been a judge for 25 years including the last 6 years on the Washington State Supreme Court. Johnson has never served as a judge on any level.

Justice Owens is not beholden to any special interest like Johnson is. He is being supported aggressively by the Building Industry Association of Washington and other special interests that want to weaken growth management and environmental protection laws in Washington State.

To get more information on this race and other judicial races go to Voting for Judges. This is a great website.

Also you can read an excellent 3 part series on Stephen Johnson done by Noemie Maxwell on WASHblog:

Stephen Johnson and BIAW Team up to Reshape Washington’s Supreme Court

WA Supreme Court Candidate to 5th Graders: “I’d get rid of all the Democrats

Religious Right wants Stephen Johnson on Washington Supreme Court

Please vote Nov. 7, 2006 for Justice Susan Owens – the candidate with judicial experience and independence. Her opponent is backed by narrow special interest groups that want an activist court only in the image of their special interest beliefs. Let’s keep the Washington State Supreme Court ruling in the public interest of its citizens, not that of some special interest group.

Early Primary Results Give Justice Alexander Slight Lead.

Early AP results reported at 9:30 P.M. by King 5 News give Chief Justice Gerry Alexander a 53% to 47 % lead over his BIAW supported opponent John Groen. This is with approximately 44% of the vote counted. This race is still too close to call.

The AP has declared Justice Tom Chambers the winner with a 58% vote to 42% for his conservative opponent Jeanette Burrage.

The third Supreme Court race has Justice Susan Owens with 45% and next Steve Johnson 33%. With 5 candidates in this race, it was expected that there would not be anyone getting over 50%. Unless there is a drastic change, this race will appear on the November general election ballot. We can expect to see a lot more money spent in this race.

Update 11:00 P.M. results not much different, but looking better for Alexander. He now leads by 54% to 46% . Only 15% of King County voted have been counted.

With 49% of the vote: its Alexander with 252,483 to Groen 223,785.

Chambers still 58% to 42% over Burrage 271,584 to 188,855

Owens 45% to S.Johnson 33% 213,725 to 156,583

Bad Decision by Washington State Secretary of State Reed

Will the Washington State Supreme Court be renamed the Johnson Supreme Court? Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed seems intent on helping make that happen.

Washington State Supreme Court Position #2 is currently held by Susan Owens, who was first elected in 2000. The position is up for election again this year and she has 4 challengers.

Two of the challengers are attorneys named Richard Smith and Norman J Ericson.

The other two challengers are both named Johnson. Michael Johnson, a Seattle attorney and Stephen Johnson who is an attorney from Kent and also a Washington State Legislator. He is also the hand picked favorite of the BIAW or Building Industry Association of Washington.

Note – The BIAW is trying to pack the court with justices who support weakening growth management and zoning laws in Washington State. They previously were the biggest spenders in helping elect Richard Saunders and James Johnson to the Washington State Supreme Court. In electing James Johnson 2 years ago, they alone spent more money than Mary Kay Becker, a judge in Whatcom County, raised in total.

Anyway Sam Reed, rather than allowing voters to choose between a Michael, Stephen, Richard, Norman and Susan, has decided your choice should be between 2 Johnsons who are attorneys, with one also being a state senator and 3 other candidates who appear not to be attorneys.

His reason for adding occupation is that two candidates with the same last name might confuse voters. Frankly choosing among most judicial candidates is confusing to most voters since voters know so little about them. But Reed has decided to add occupations to help distinguish between the Johnson’s. In doing so he gives an advantage to the Johnson’s.

Below is Reed’s prejudical ballot listing which favor the Johnsons:

Michael Johnson, attorney
Stephen Johnson, attorney/state senator
Richard Smith
Norman J Ericson
Susan Owens

The most glaring problem – all 5 candidates are attorneys! Reed’s listing makes it look like only 2 of the candidates are attorneys. And by luck of the draw they are also listed at the top of the ballot.

Poor Susan Owens – she is both an attorney and current Supreme Court Justice but she is discriminated against by not having her occupation listed. A state senator gets listed but not a Supreme Court Justice?

If I were with the Owens campaign I would consider challenging the unfair advantage Reed’d decision gives the Johnson’s.

One better unbiased way to distinguish betwwen all the candidates might have been to add their home city. In this case the ballot would have looked like this:

Michael Johnson, Seattle
Stephen Johnson, Kent
Richard Smith, Seattle
Norman J Ericson, Olympia
Susan Owens, Olympia

There are already 2 Johnsons on the Washington State Supreme Court. I am not aware that when they sign opinions that they list some prior occupation to distinguish between them. Do you know who the current two Johnsons are and can you tell them apart? (Answer Charles and James)

What a mess it would be with three Johnsons on the court.

My suggestion – keep the names straight by not voting for any more Johnsons.

I suggest you support the incumbent Supreme Court Justice – Susan B Owens.