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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Debra Stephens

Bring on the Zamboni

Judicial races in Washington usually are notable for having very little notable to report. Candidates compare resumes, look for people to place in long lists of endorsements in their newspaper ads and generally avoid controversy in an effort to seem judicious.

One state Supreme Court candidate may have stirred up controversy just by filing. John “Zamboni” Scannell filed against incumbent Justice Debra Stephens. He’s notable for more than just his nickname, earned from driving the ice-smoothing machine for a Seattle hockey team. . . 

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High Court considers challenge to Appeals Court elections

OLYMPIA –Washington state needs a new way of electing appeals court judges to comply with the constitutional doctrine of one-person, one-vote, Spokane attorney Steve Eugster told the state Supreme Court Tuesday.

But an attorney for the state countered that’s really a doctrine for picking legislators, not judges, and the way appeals court judges are elected and assigned cases is correct. That phrase isn’t even found in the state constitution, which instead calls for elections to be “free and equal,” Deputy Solicitor General Anne Egeler said.

“There is no right to be heard by the judge you personally elected to the bench,” Egeler said.


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Stephens ‘most influential’ on high court

OLYMPIA — Justice Debra Stephens, the Washington Supreme Court's newest member, is also its most influential, a conservative think tank says.

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation gave Stephens, the first woman from Eastern Washington to serve on the state's highest court, its first-ever ranking of most influential.

The group based that on the number of majority decisions written, the number of times she's been in the majority, the number of votes that support the opinions she's written, and the number of times she's been the key vote in close cases.

Writing in the group's Supreme Court of Washington Blog, Michael Reitz said that last year, the court had 22 cases that were decided 5-4. Stephens wrote six of those opinions, the most of any justice. and she was in the majority 75 percent of the time, also more than any justice.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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