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Elect a Fair & Experienced Judge: Virgina Linder for Oregon Supreme Court

Whew! Isn't primary season exhausting? All those names and issues, many of whom you may not recognize or even care about. It's enough to make you want to forget the democratic process entirely! But because we all know that voting essential to maintaining a functional democracy, we'll get off the couch and down to the polls-or out to the mailbox-anyway. Unfortunately, judicial races are often ignored in election year fervor. In a typical primary, there may be a dozen races, many of which are uncontested. But there are a few races to keep an eye on this year...

The Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC is proud to be endorsing Judge Virginia Linder for the Oregon Supreme Court. Judge Linder was appointed to the Oregon Court of Appeals in 1997 and has since been re-elected by the people of Oregon twice. Before her appointment to the court, Judge Linder served as an Assistant Attorney General, Assistant Solicitor General, and State Solicitor General. As Solicitor General, Judge Linder became the first woman in history to represent Oregon in the United States Supreme Court. She also took the lead in drafting an amicus brief on Oregon's behalf urging that Colorado's Amendment Two--which withdrew all legal protection for Colorado citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation-was unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court struck down Colorado's amendment, and Oregon's brief was credited with playing a key role in the Court's decision.

Virginia Linder is not only the only woman running for a seat on Oregon's Supreme Court, she is also--more importantly--the only candidate who has actually been a judge.

One of her opponents, Jack Roberts, is well-known for his animosity towards issues of civil rights. While employed by the Bureau of Labor and Industries to oversee the civil rights division-which is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment-Roberts recommended abolishing the civil rights division altogether!

Widely considered a thorough and impartial judge, Judge Virginia Linder's election to the Oregon Supreme Court would ensure a fair and experienced voice on the bench.

Another candidate to keep an eye on is Trung Tu, who is running for Multnomah County Circuit Judge. Although Basic Rights Oregon usually says out of circuit court races, Trung is worthy of mention. Trung Tu, who was born in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, arrived in Portland after he and his family fled their homeland by boat and spent nine months in a refugee camp in Japan. After years of hard work to overcome poverty and discrimination, Trung graduated from the University of Notre Dame and the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark. Trung is both respected for his work as an attorney and for his community involvement. He is active in many respects of community-building, including as a member of the Multnomah Bar Association's YLS Service to the Public Committee, a volunteer chaperone for children from the Northwest Elementary Schools Group, and by providing pro bono legal services to the poor and to the Q Center. Trung is also the only out candidate running for circuit judge. Check out his website at www.trungtuforjudge.com.

As we continue to grow in our efforts to advance equality in Oregon Courts, electing fair, unbiased judges has never been more critical.

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By Blogger carla, at May 05, 2006 8:56 PM

I don't disagree with BRO very often..but I think on this one you got it wrong.

Gene Hallman is the better choice.

here is why.    

By Blogger Jack Roberts, at May 31, 2006 10:28 AM

While I'm not going to quarrel with your endorsement for Judge Linder, I do want to clear up some factual mistatements about me.

When I was the head of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, I proposed merging the agency with the Department of Consumer and Business Services in order to better secure its budget and provide some economies of scale. I never suggested eliminating any of the agency's three principal functions, and certainly not the civil rights division.

As for my position on civil rights, particularly as it relates to sexual orientation, I would simply point out that I was one of the three elected officials who signed the amicus petition in the Colorado case for which you justifiably praise Judge Linder's brief. In effect, she was acting as my attorney (and Governor Kitzhaber's and Attorney General Kulongoski's) when she wrote it.

In 1997, I was also the only statewide elected official in testified in favor of a bill that would lhave extended employment nondiscrimination laws to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1997.

As I have said before, Judge Linder is a fine candidate and would make a fine supreme court justice. You don't have to dilute your support for her by making false statements about me or my record.    

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