Charlie Wiggins is a candidate for the Washington State Supreme Court. People running for the Washington State Supreme Court have the formidable task of running statewide. It is even harder when you are running against an incumbent. Wiggins is running against Justice Richard Sanders. So when he showed up at the 46th District Democrats last night after having been in Spokane the day before I offered his campaign the opportunity to do a guest post on Majority Rules Blog. Here is what they wanted to pass on to the voters about their campaign:
This year Charlie Wiggins, a thirty-year practicing attorney and former Appeals Court judge is running for the Washington State Supreme Court Position 6 against Justice Richard Sanders. Many people are unsure of how to vote for judges: what sets one candidate apart from another in a nonpartisan race? What qualities should we look for in a judicial candidate? According to a report issued by the American Bar Association, the three key qualifications for a judge are integrity, impartiality, and independence. Charlie exemplifies all three.
Integrity: Charlie was given the highest possible ethics rating by the widely respected legal directory Martindale-Hubbell, was chosen for the national publication “Best Lawyers in America,” and received the Washington State Bar Association Young Lawyers Professionalism Award in 2008. His excellent reputation and conduct earned him his position as Chair of the Disciplinary Board for the Washington State Bar Association, which disciplines lawyers who violate legal ethics. His commitment to service and sharing his legal expertise have been widely recognized; in 2010 he received the Kitsap Bar Association Humanitarian Award and was named Volunteer of the Year by the Legal Services Clinic of the Union Gospel Mission in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle in 2004.
Impartiality: Throughout his career Charlie has represented all types of clients, from individuals to corporations, from victims seeking damages to those accused of negligent conduct. His experience as a Court of Appeals judge and a pro tem judge in superior court have proven him to be fair. In superior court, lawyers and parties must agree on a pro tem judge, and they continue to choose Charlie because they know he is impartial. He has worked tirelessly to preserve impartiality in the judiciary, helping to establish the nonpartisan award-winning website votingforjudges.org, the best single source of information about judicial candidates in Washington.
Independence: Limits on campaign spending prevent special interest groups from attempting to “buy” judges. In 2006 Charlie testified in the legislature in favor of imposing campaign contribution limits in Washington judicial election, which was signed into law the same year. In 2007 he again went before the legislature in favor of public financing of judicial elections, which has not yet been adopted. In 2008 Charlie represented 27 former state Supreme Court Justices from across the country in an amicus brief, arguing that a judge should not be allowed to sit on a case involving a party that donated to his or her campaign. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, and the case was retried. For the past two years Charlie has been working towards the adoption of a rule in Washington to require a judge to step down from a case if a party to the case provided substantial financial support for the judge’s election.
Charlie’s record speaks for itself. However, a recent study noted that, “In any given election in Washington state, as many as 50 percent of those who cast votes for other candidates choose not to vote for judicial candidates on the same ballot.” It’s time to change that statistic. Learn more about Charlie, as well as his opponent, and spread the word. Effective democracy requires educated voters. Please visit www.votingforjudges.org and www.charliewigginsforjustice.com to learn more.