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A Matter Of Opinion

Thu., March 18, 2010, 12:11 p.m.

Judging judges

I may have raised this issue here before, but I'm always interested in hearing thoughts about it. It came up yesterday when I had a chance to chat informally with a man who is running for a judicial office.

Candidates for the bench generally refrain from going into much detail about their philosophies, lest they run afoul of the canons that forbid them from expressing views about cases that may come before them.

Yet there's more to it than simply applying the law faithfully and impartially. Otherwise, what difference would it matter whether Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Antonin Scalia sat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Different justices, different outlooks, different outcomes.

In Washington, where we elect judges from the Supreme Court on down, how do voters get a handle on which outlooks a candidage for judge embraces?

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