News


Campaign gathers signatures to place judge recall on ballot

County registrar to count, process signatures

Recall Persky Chair Michele Dauber speaks during a rally in San Jose following Brock Turner's release from jail on Sept. 2, 2016. Photo by Veronica Weber.

In a milestone for the grassroots effort to unseat Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky for his alleged bias in sexual violence cases, the campaign has gathered the number of voter signatures required to place the recall on the June ballot.

Campaign leaders filed nearly 100,000 signatures on Thursday morning at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters in San Jose. They are required to have at least 58,634 valid signatures.

The campaign launched in response to Persky's sentencing of former Stanford University student Brock Turner: six months in county jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus in 2015.

Campaign chair Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor and Palo Alto resident, told the Weekly that the campaign was "overwhelmed" by the response from voters who signed the recall petition over the past four months.

The recall campaign spent about $350,000 to $400,000 on the signature-gathering effort, according to Dauber.

The campaign alleges Persky, in addition to the Turner sentencing, has displayed a pattern of bias against women and defendants of color in several sex-crime cases.

Opponents argue the recall poses a threat to judicial independence and that Persky's sentencing decisions have followed the letter of the law.

Persky's lawyer, James McManis of McManis Faulkner, did not immediately return a request for comment. Persky worked last year to stop the recall effort from proceeding by filing legal challenges, including alleging that because he is a state officer, California's secretary of state rather than the county registrar should oversee the recall and that the replacement for a recalled judge should be appointed by the governor rather than elected. A judge ultimately ruled against Persky and allowed the recall campaign to start gathering signatures.

Dauber said the recall effort has benefited from the national #MeToo movement's momentum against sexual violence and harassment.

"There are many Americans right now who are calling for the end of the culture of impunity for offenses against women. This goes from Hollywood to Silicon Valley to colleges to high schools to the courts and the criminal justice system," Dauber said.

The Registrar of Voters now has 30 business days to count and "certify whether the petition is sufficient," the Registrar said in an announcement.

Under California Elections Code, a random sampling of 5 percent of the signatures will be examined and verified, the Registrar said. If the number of valid signatures is greater than 110 percent of the required 58,634 signatures, the petition will be deemed sufficient for the ballot without additional signature verification. If it has less than 90 percent, the petition is considered insufficient.

If the number of valid signatures is more than 90 percent but less than 110 percent, however, the Registrar must examine and verify all of the signatures submitted. Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey described this scenario as a "labor-intensive process" that would require additional staff and could stretch into mid-February.

Election officials said they expect to have the results of the random sample verification in 10 to 14 business days.

If verified, the recall would go to the county Board of Supervisors for placement on the June 5 ballot. It would be paired with a contest to decide who would replace Persky if he were recalled.

Only one candidate so far has publicly said she plans to run for Persky's seat: Cindy Hendrickson, a longtime Santa Clara County prosecutor who currently works on District Attorney Jeff Rosen's executive team. An online fundraising campaign she launched in October has raised about $5,400 toward a $15,000 goal.

While Hendrickson's boss publicly criticized Persky's sentencing in the Turner case, Rosen endorsed the judge last spring.

Ongoing coverage of the recall campaign can be found on the Palo Alto Weekly's Storify page.

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Comments

39 people like this
Posted by GoForIt
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jan 11, 2018 at 10:40 am

Great job Michele!
He needs to be gone. Already.


31 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 11, 2018 at 10:51 am

GREAT JOB, MICHELE!! Perhaps will set a precedent. . .


25 people like this
Posted by cvvhrn
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2018 at 11:14 am

cvvhrn is a registered user.

If you need a reason to vote, this is it. Lets get this guy off the bench.


44 people like this
Posted by Safeway Shopper
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 11, 2018 at 11:17 am

I was harassed in Safeway parking lot on a couple of occasions by professional "signature collectors" for this. I suspect many people signed up for reasons of being pressured rather than anything else.

I am not commenting one way or the other about the recall, just the way in which the signatures were collected. If I felt harassed then I am sure I wasn't alone.


34 people like this
Posted by andy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:18 pm

"There are many Americans right now who are calling for the end of the culture of impunity for offenses against women."

I suspect we're all in agreement that the outcome of that trial was shocking. That said, was it shocking because of malfeasance on the part of the judge, or was it a result of the law that was being interpreted? I don't know the answer, but I'd like to know before casting a vote on removing a judge from office.


13 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm

"...was it shocking because of malfeasance on the part of the judge, or was it a result of the law that was being interpreted?"

Malfeasance in interpreting the law.


65 people like this
Posted by Attorney
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm

While a recall effort is part of our democratic process, this one is dangerous as an assault on the independence of our judiciary. If this recall passes, every state judge will be looking at the politics of a judgment rather than the law. I strongly disagree with Persky's sentence but he has a long record of excellence as a prosecutor and then a judge, and he followed the probation department's recommendation. He didn't reduce the sentence from what was recommended by the experts in the judicial system.

Think about the consequences before you vote. Do you want a judge to be political or judicial? This is exactly why federal judges are appointed for life so they are free to be judicial and not try to fashion a decision by gauging what might meet the approval of the citizenry that is ill-equipped to understand the complexities of the laws and precedents in our criminal justice system.


Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Y
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

[Post removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by Citizen Y
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

@Attorney
"this one is dangerous as an assault on the independence of our judiciary."

This is an elected position. It comes up for reelection on a regular cycle and is therefore subject to the will of the electorate. You misunderstand his role in the Judaical process, and who he is answerable to for his bad decisions.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm

There is a need for an independent judiciary. However, the judiciary should be held to fair standards for meting out justice under the law. Judge Persky has shown that he favors athletes (not just in the Brock Turner case). This type of leniency for athletes is unacceptable.

I understand that the probation department recommended the light sentence but this is exactly why we have judges. They are supposed to look at the recommendations and then make an independent and learned decision about an appropriate sentence in a case. Besides the light sentence, Judge Persky acted in a manner that showed he was more sympathetic to Turned than the victim. I am thankful that our democracy allows us to recall judges that don't act fairly and show bias towards the perpetrator and not the victim.


20 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Does the independence of the judiciary excuse horrible record on violence against women, a consistent insensitivity toward the victims of domestic abuse, and a clear preference for athletes behaving badly? In case after case this judge was far more sympathetic toward the perpetrators than the victims. For all intent and purposes, this extremely lenient attitude encourages, rather than deters, violence against woman.

Judiciary independence should not be an excuse for bad, and elected judges, to keep their jobs.


15 people like this
Posted by Lawyer
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm

For those who want a thoughtful analysis by some of the best law professors in California from across the political spectrum, including many colleagues of Prof Dauber on the Stanford faculty....

Web Link


19 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 11, 2018 at 5:22 pm

"While a recall effort is part of our democratic process, this one is dangerous as an assault on the independence of our judiciary."

An elected judiciary is not independent.


15 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2018 at 5:37 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Elected judges are not elected for life. They are not supreme court justices who can never be removed by the public. They serve at the pleasure of the voters. The notion that once they are elected they are untouchable due to "judicial independence" is completely false. If a majority of voters think they don't deserve to serve as judges they can be removed through the most democratic process:voting.

It is no surprise that many law professionals are defending this terrible judge. It's the club members circling the wagons to save one of their own.


13 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Unlike many, I really do see the need for a mostly independent judiciary. And, since most recalls are driven by Right Wing Authoritarisns with a political agenda, I usually vote no, period. Judges shouldn't make decisions based on next year's elections. But, we have a system through which judges are voted upon, and, as voters, we are called upon to confirm the continued service of a judge, or, not. It is our duty as voters to make the best choice that we can with the facts that we have.

I decided to read an article which argues -against- Judge Persky's recall, in Politico.

Web Link

I was prepared to consider whether or not Brock Turner just had a really bad (totally out of character-- it happens) day, and, whether or not Judge Persky just had a really bad (judicial judgement-- it happens) day. The article, as I said, is -against- recall. The article convinced me that Brock Turner, and I quote:

"Turner was unrepentant throughout, shamelessly claiming he was a naif who got caught up in a drug and alcohol culture in college when his own text messages from high school made it plain he had used MDMA and LSD. He had also been arrested for underage drinking and appeared to have a disturbing history of making aggressive and unwanted sexual advances on women. The physical and psychological damage he inflicted on the victim is plain from her searing statement, which she read aloud before Judge Perky announced his ruling, and which has since gone viral.

"And so, on this we can all also agree: Brock Allen Turner is thoroughly undeserving of the enormous break Judge Persky gave him."


In that case, we have to consider whether or not Judge Persky was having a really bad day, or, whether or not his statements during the trial reflect his consistent judicial views. I don't have enough evidence about that yet, but, the main argument in the article seems to be that Persky is a somewhat lenient judge who is not hostile to the poor and minorities (the article could lead one to believe that this is less than usual). I agree that it would be unfortunate to lose a judge who is not hostile to the poor and minorities.

That argument doesn't really speak to the point at hand, though-- whether or not Judge Persky considers violence against women to be a really serious crime. In his own words, at the trial, but, taken out of context, he is quoted here, and, based on what he said, I have my doubts about his judicial judgement, frankly:

Web Link

To add to it, I also find this article very disturbing, and, another indication of a serious problem of judgement:

Web Link

Unless someone can convince me that Judge Persky really doesn't mean what it appears that he said, I plan to support recall.


26 people like this
Posted by alas
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:13 pm

It is truly sad to see how few people on this thread believe in the independence of our judiciary.


13 people like this
Posted by again
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 11, 2018 at 7:23 pm

[Portion removed.]

What makes our judiciary system what it is: The independence for judges to make decisions based on law etc....

[Portion removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 11, 2018 at 7:55 pm

This whole affair is a shame - an exercise in vengeance and injustice, now left to a mob and a crusade. Duly-appointed, well intentioned people in our court system apparently trying to find a just and fair middle ground rendered a judgement that some, who feel even more lives need to be destroyed, can’t accept. I Hope Turner prevails in his appeal. I hope what we now see on a national scale, with too many accusations rushing to judgements, teaches us how poorly this Turner affair was handled. If anything, the judge and and the staff should be commended.


7 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@George: So you think that what we see "on a national scale" is a rush to judgment, then you are not very well informed. Dozens of women in Hollywood have come forward with nearly identical stories of Weinstein and his ilk forcing themselves on women. Brock Turner did it the once (that we know about)and would have gotten off completely scot free if some other young men hadn't caught him in the act. Did you happen to read the long letter the young woman read in court? None of this meant a thing to Persky, who apparently thought that "boys will be boys".

Brock Turner is trying for a retrial because it's finally sunk in that he has a record as a sex offender and has lost a Stanford education. He's trying to rewrite history. I hope he fails miserably.


11 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2018 at 10:32 pm

@Anon, thanks for the article you linked. But I found the defense of Judge Persky is a pile of mumble jumble.

First of all, the statutory minimum is 2 years and maximum is 14 years, and Turner was unrepentant throughout, among other bad behaviors. Persky gave him just six month. How is that following the law?

Secondly the argument is that recall may lead to future judges giving harsher sentences, especially to minorities. I think that is just cheesy FUD tactic. It never happened, and won't happen.

I think all what those who defend Judge Persky are really concerned about, in the words of Arnold in "Yes, Prime Minister", is "the thin end of the wedge". That is, Judge Persky is "one of us". No matter how bad he was, we can't let him fall, because our own reputation/prestige/power may be diminished.

I think recall shows democracy works. The system has some mechanism to correct itself. He should be recalled. Judicial independence won't be affected, because the recall threshold is very high.



29 people like this
Posted by Another Harassed Safeway Shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 12, 2018 at 8:22 am

@ Safeway Shopper, I totally agree! You were not alone in being harassed.

I've been a resident shopping at my Midtown Safeway for over 20 years. For the first time ever, I was harassed for weeks at my neighborhood Safeway by the same person collecting signatures for this campaign. I'm a petite woman, and one signature collector was a large imposing man who got right up in my face multiple times pressuring me for a signature. I complained to the store manager that I felt harassed and uncomfortable coming to shop. The store manager admitted he'd received multiple customer complaints. Because the manager had given the signature collectors multiple warnings just that day, at that point he asked them to leave. How ironic to be a woman harassed by a man collecting signatures to remove a judge who supposedly supports sexual harassers! It was disgusting. As a result of this experience being harassed for signatures on daily shopping trips, I'm absolutely opposed to this ballot measure. Ms. Dauber's campaign team should be ashamed of their intimidation methods.


4 people like this
Posted by Me too!
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 12, 2018 at 8:32 am

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by that's life
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 12, 2018 at 9:53 am

@Another Harassed Safeway Shopper,

These signature collectors had to use aggressive tactics for this recall. They were being paid to collect them. How else would they have managed to get the signatures?


12 people like this
Posted by jane
a resident of Southgate
on Jan 12, 2018 at 10:15 am

People signed the petition because they don't trust his judgment in sexual assault cases. They have plenty of evidence for that view. Maybe stop denigrating 100K voters who signed the petition and try to understand why they feel that way instead of spreading false rumors and concocting conspiracy theories. 100K is a lot of voters. It's more than I have ever heard of being collected for a local ballot initiative in this county. It's a historic number of signatures.

Judge Persky is not a good guy. He's not a victim. He's a white male Stanford athlete who enabled other elite and privileged men, often college athletes, often Stanford connected, to get away with violence against women over and over.

When challenged, he hired Donald Trump's Arizona operative to run his campaign.

His entire campaign is a sham, being funded by more than a quarter million dollars from a single corporate law firm -- one that openly brags on its website about representing batterers and sexual harassers.

Meanwhile the recall campaign is a grassroots feminist campaign that is working for social justice for sexual harassment and sexual assault survivors, including marginalized women who have been abused by white Stanford athletes.

You are on the wrong side of history and everyone can see that.


18 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 12, 2018 at 10:25 am

When someone is arrested and charged, only the facts relevant to that particular event, not the state of the world, not the #metoo movement, not activists seeking attention to the victimization cause du jour, not demands of a mob that an example be made in this or that case - belongs in the courtroom, the verdict, and the punishment. Those who insist Perskey had a moral obligation to cleanse the world of other injustices or in the exercise of his judgement are wrong, and dangerous. Perskey had an obligation to look at a particular case and render a judgement. No question, a recall will impact our judicial system in a negative way. I hope any who vote for recall don't have to face a court that has to weigh it’s judgement on whether Dauber is watching.


2 people like this
Posted by jane
a resident of Southgate
on Jan 12, 2018 at 10:31 am

George thinks that Persky's sentence of Turner and the other abusers and rapists he has treated lightly were the right sentences.

Everyone else, vote YES to recall Persky and vote YES for Cindy Hendrickson to replace him on June 5, 2018.

Together we can move mountains, one shovel full of dirt at a time.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for the campaign, you can do so here: Web Link

This is for all survivors who were ignored blamed and shamed. Stand up for survivors, especially those from marginalized communities. Women standing together can do it here, just like we did in Alabama.


4 people like this
Posted by Martha
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


17 people like this
Posted by Another Harassed Safeway Shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

@ that's life
"These signature collectors had to use aggressive tactics for this recall. They were being paid to collect them. How else would they have managed to get the signatures?"

This statement appears to suggest that it's ok for a signature collector to "use aggressive tactics" harassing women, and other grocery shopping customers, because they are getting paid to collect signatures. It is NOT OK to harass a woman (or anyone else) for any reason! Isn't that the whole point of this ballot measure, to stop harassment? In fact, the store management told the signature collectors to leave or he would have to call the police because of all the complaints he received at the Midtown Safeway that day. I find it both sad and ironic that a number of people on this thread seem to be in favor of removing Persky for supposedly supporting sexual harassers, but are totally ok with a man harassing women in a grocery store parking lot. The end (ballot measure) does not justify the means (harassing female shoppers).


4 people like this
Posted by jane
a resident of Southgate
on Jan 12, 2018 at 10:58 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


8 people like this
Posted by jane
a resident of Southgate
on Jan 12, 2018 at 1:47 pm

@moderator, I would have preferred that you left that victim blaming post from Martha and my response to it up. I think it's important for voters to see and decode the narrative of Persky's defenders. I understand the choice but these things are already being said more or less constantly, behind closed doors. Let's expose who Persky's defenders really are and what they really think. Only then can we see how a vote for the recall is a vote against rape culture.

Vote Yes on the Recall on June 5, 2018. #EnoughIsEnough


11 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 12, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Every time I read articles about this and the comments that follow I am struck by how risky it is to speak up and express an opinion that is not aligned with that of those seeking the recall of this judge. Not supporting the recall does not equate to agreeing with the Turner sentence or blaming Turner's victim or any other victim. Things are getting conflated and I don't see how that serves us well. On this issue, the more public discourse the better as it will help people cast a reasoned vote. I think this is critical given that the outcome of the campaign stands to impact the independence of our judiciary.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Posted by George: a resident of Old Palo Alto, wrote:

>>> When someone is arrested and charged, only the facts relevant to that particular event, not the state of the world, not the #metoo movement, not activists seeking attention to the victimization cause du jour, not demands of a mob that an example be made in this or that case - belongs in the courtroom, the verdict, and the punishment. Those who insist Perskey had a moral obligation to cleanse the world of other injustices [etc.]

I agree that when someone is arrested, only the law, and, the facts of the case, are relevant. You are correct that the judge is deciding a particular case, not cleansing the world of injustice.

However, the law in this particular case is that sexual assault is a form of -violence- and the sentences for this form of -violence- are (etc.) The sentence, and, Persky's remarks, cast doubt on whether he really understands sexual assault really is -assault-.

As a voter, I'm called upon to judge Persky's record, and, confirm him, or, not. That is also the law. It is a duty I don't particularly relish, any more than relishing serving on juries, which I have done. But, since it is my duty as a voter, I'm going to do it. At this point in time, I have a major problem with Persky's understanding of sexual assault. There is no "mob" involved, just me and my ballot.

If Persky fails to be re-confirmed, he can go back to being a practicing attorney. Serving as a judge is a privilege.


10 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@Perceived Victims of Signature Gatherers: So you didn't like the persons asking for your signature and, based on that, you're going to vote "No" on the Recall Persky initiative when it appears on the ballot? What stunning examples of civic virtue you are! Don't pay any attention to whether the initiative is right or wrong or make a careful examination of the issue. No, you'd rather use your precious vote to punish the signature gatherers.


2 people like this
Posted by that's life
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 12, 2018 at 4:05 pm

"Things are getting conflated and I don't see how that serves us well."

You seem surprised. This is how politics are run in this day and age. Simply look at the "We support women's education" signs.

Elections, such as this one, are won and lost of straw man arguments. It does show a lack of depth in their position when they rely on this logical fallacy but, unfortunately, it works.


10 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2018 at 4:47 pm

"It is truly sad to see how few people on this thread believe in the independence of our judiciary."

False choice. An independent judiciary of well qualified well vetted judges serving outside the political circus is essential. It's too bad that's not what we got in Santa Clara county, where uninformed voters choose our judges from lists of politicians.

No hit on the voters intended. It is not possible for most citizens to weigh the judicial qualifications of a judge who has done no judging yet. So who gets on the bench is largely a pin the tail on the donkey process that produces outcomes like Persky.


13 people like this
Posted by Henry Blackbun
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 12, 2018 at 4:52 pm

"...you'd rather use your precious vote to punish the signature gatherers."

Misplaced pique like this is what got Trump elected


1 person likes this
Posted by round and round
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 12, 2018 at 5:10 pm

"So who gets on the bench is largely a pin the tail on the donkey process that produces outcomes like Persky."

Which is pretty much what we'll get with Cindy Hendrickson.


13 people like this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 13, 2018 at 7:09 pm

I am a little stunned to see that no one has commented on the arguments made by a pretty august (and mostly very liberal/progressive, at least the Stanford ones I know) law professors. Is there where we are now? That the opinions of people who are knowledgeable do not count for anything?
ps: I too was harassed by a very aggressive signature collector - in my case outside Molly Stone's


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 13, 2018 at 7:57 pm

"I am a little stunned to see that no one has commented on the arguments made by a pretty august (and mostly very liberal/progressive, at least the Stanford ones I know) law professors."

What's to say? Besides, they should be working on the real existential problems facing this nation, like impeaching Trump before he pushes his big button.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2018 at 10:34 am

Posted by Stephen, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis, wrote:

>> I am a little stunned to see that no one has commented on the arguments made by a pretty august (and mostly very liberal/progressive, at least the Stanford ones I know) law professors. Is there where we are now? That the opinions of people who are knowledgeable do not count for anything?

According to the letter you refer to, which I read:

"The mechanism of recall was designed for and must be limited to cases where judges are corrupt or incompetent or exhibit bias that leads to systematic injustice in their courtrooms. None of these criteria applies to Judge Persky."

I haven't heard anyone accuse Judge Persky of financial impropriety, or, "incompetence" in the sense implied. As for the rest, I leave it for people to decide based on Judge Persky's own words, previously referenced in posted links.

The letter from the various lawyers doesn't deal with this issue, and, as I said before, in our current legal process, it is up to the voters to decide, according to the listed criteria, whether they think Persky should continue as a judge.


Like this comment
Posted by Thinking Voter
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 14, 2018 at 11:37 am

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 14, 2018 at 1:04 pm

"Does it matter that the woman behind this recall is not an attorney, has never practiced law - clerked for one year after law school - but never took a bar exam, never became a licensed attorney, and teaches mostly sociology-based classes at Stanford Law School - and yet has set herself up as judge of this man with an actual record as a lawyer and judge?"

Gee, it just occurred to me that the vast majority of voters is not an attorney, has never practiced law, never took a bar exam, never became a licensed attorney. Heck, the vast majority of voters has never been president, but they presume to elect presidents. And only noncriminals are allowed on juries that decide if accused defendant are criminals. How do we fix this deplorable empowerment of the unqualified?


6 people like this
Posted by go get 'em
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

"The mechanism of recall was designed for and must be limited to cases where judges are corrupt or incompetent or exhibit bias that leads to systematic injustice in their courtrooms. "

This is incorrect. In California, you don't even need a reason for a recall. It's not that case that it's a really low bar, there isn't any bar at all!
You don't need to show any evidence of bias, corruption or anything else. Just need enough people riled about a single judgement.

Ironically, they then try to claim this isn't an attack on judicial independence.


11 people like this
Posted by Tom Paine
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:22 pm

go get'em is right that the law professors who oppose the recall are wrong when they say, "The mechanism of recall was designed for and must be limited to cases where judges are corrupt or incompetent or exhibit bias that leads to systematic injustice in their courtrooms. None of these criteria applies to Judge Persky." That's just a bald assertion of fact that has no actual basis. It's pretty crazy that these professors are willing to mislead the public in order to make the case, but there you go.

The fact is, the California Constitution reserves to the people the right to elect and to recall local judges. Judge Persky is up for re-election in 2022 (he was re-elected in 2016, just before the Brock Turner decision). What if he were up for re-election in 2018, instead? Would these law professors say that nobody could vote against him unless he was corrupt, etc.?

A lot of people who oppose the recall actually disgree with elections for judges, they just don't want to say it because it will reveal that they don't like democracy for judges.


1 person likes this
Posted by that's life
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:30 pm

There they go with that "conflated" thing again. Trying to conflate "democracy for judges" with a recall.
We're back to those logical fallacies. The idea that because you are against a recall of a senator you must be against democratically electing senators!

There are plenty of good reasons for a recall. Sure, you don't need any of them in California. However, it does bring into question the motivation for a recall if you can't provide any evidence of bias, corruption, etc.


7 people like this
Posted by Tom Paine
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:40 pm

I have no idea what the "conflating" fallacy is supposed to be, maybe you could clarify. Anyway, do you support judicial elections?

It's not true that the recall didn't provide any evidence of bias. See Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm

"However, it does bring into question the motivation for a recall if you can't provide any evidence of bias, corruption, etc."

Don't conflate a recall ballot measure with an actual recall. Whether Persky committed an error of judgment justifying his immediate removal from the bench will be decided by the same pool of voters (plus or minus a few) who re-elected him in 2016, just before he screwed up.


Like this comment
Posted by that's life
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm

"Whether Persky committed an error of judgment justifying his immediate removal from the bench "

There you have it in black and white. This is exactly what the recall is about....well, minus the opinion:

"Do you believe that Persky judgement in this one case justifies his immediate removal from the bench?"


7 people like this
Posted by Harry Merkin
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 14, 2018 at 6:42 pm

"Do you believe that Persky judgement in this one case justifies his immediate removal from the bench?"

Yes, but we have to wait until June.


10 people like this
Posted by Harry Merkin
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

This sentence somehow dropped from my prior post:

Judgment in critical issues matters. A one-time bad judgment during the fraction of a second needed to pull a trigger can send someone to prison for life.


4 people like this
Posted by Dishonest Dauber is Dangerous
a resident of another community
on Jan 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 20, 2018 at 5:01 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Ana Gabriela Hermosillo
a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Ann Mocs
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Recalling the Brock Turner judge will serve us (women, minorities, and low socioeconomic) justice, and will backfire on all judges that use their conscious and unconscious biases of gender, race, socioeconomic status etc. when sentencing. Currently, males from low socioeconomic status are given heavy sentencing by White Culture high socioeconomic judges. On the other hand, Brock Turner received six months in jail for raping an unconscious woman. The Santa Clara County Judicial system is corrupted not only by Persky's history of lenient sentencing for White males and those following on the scale of high status. Other corrupted judges are Julie Emede, Phillip PennyPacker, Joseph Hober, so on and on. This is why there will be a first ever California audit on judges. The Commission for Judicial Performance is trying to block this audit with a law suit, the same way Persky tried to stop the recall. Gov. Brown, if not the state, we the people will make sure all the trashy history of these judges will be public domain. ENOUGH!


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Posted by Ann Mocs
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Justice, equality, and fairness of all not just the top 1% is not a progressive movement is a constitutional right!


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Posted by Bill Stienem
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Recalling a Judge is a huge step. Some are elected, some are appointed. They all account to a State Council that evaluates them. Politicizing a judge based on a single decision is dangerous. What do we expect of our judges...the same as our politicians? [Portion removed.]


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