Archived Version: August 19, 2008

Click to exit archives
An information resource for Washington voters



Show My Elections

Supreme Court

Court of Appeals

Ratings and Endorsements

Media Stories

Candidates A-Z

Judges A-Z

Around the Nation

Voting for Judges: FAQ


Election Archives


Debra Stephens


Washington Supreme Court

Position Seven

Debra Stephens

Current Occupation/Employer: Justice, Washington Supreme Court

Education: B.A. and J.D., Gonzaga University; West Valley High, Spokane.

Legal/Judicial Experience: Extensive trial and appellate practice on both sides of Washington, including 120+ appearances before the Washington Supreme Court. Author and speaker at 100+ legal seminars. Appointed, then elected to Division Three of the Court of Appeals before joining the Supreme Court.

Family: Married 19 years to Craig Stephens; two children.

Significant Career Experience: Adjunct Professor at Gonzaga Law School since 1995, teaching state and federal Constitutional Law, Community Property and Appellate Advocacy. School board director from 1996-2007. Former community college instructor and Assistant Dean of Admissions at Gonzaga.

Candidate Statement: The first woman from Eastern Washington to serve on the State Supreme Court, Justice Debra Stephens brings unique experience as an attorney, constitutional law scholar, and Appeals Court judge to the bench. Rated “Exceptionally Well Qualified” by five separate Bar Associations, she is committed to protecting the rights and liberties of all Washingtonians.

Justice Stephens raised her family in Spokane while maintaining a law practice specializing in serving victims of crimes and their families.

On the Supreme Court, Justice Stephens is committed to upholding and respecting our laws and constitution free from bias, with a firm commitment to our shared values. Justice Stephens believes firmly that the law should be grounded in common sense, and address the needs of real people.

Active in her church and community, former chair of her local school board and a volunteer mentor to young women, Justice Debra Stephens brings real-world perspective and outstanding legal qualifications to the Supreme Court.

Endorsers include former Justices Richard Guy and Faith Ireland, dozens more former and current judges; Washington State Patrol Troopers, State Labor Council, State Council of Firefighters, business leaders, teachers, Conservation Voters, legal peers, community leaders, and both Republicans and Democrats throughout Washington.

Official web site:  
Opponent: None  
Questionnaire response: For King County Democrats
Streaming video: For Position 7

Video Voters' Guide:

Candidate ratings:

Joint Asian
Judicial Evaluation Committee
Well Qualified
Latina/o Bar Association of Washington Exceptionally
Well Qualified
Loren Miller Bar Association Well Qualified
GLBT Bar Association of Washington
Well Qualified
Washington Association of
Prosecuting Attorneys
Well Qualified
Washington Women Lawyers Exceptionally
Well Qualified

Important note! Each of these organizations uses its own standards and rating terms when evaluating candidates; please check their pages for further information. Candidates with an asterisk (*) were not rated, and the reasons vary. Some evaluations may still be in process; some candidates may not have been offered an opportunity to participate, or they may have declined to participate. Again, please check the organizations' pages for further details.


Newspaper endorsements (click paper for details):

Seattle P-I
Vancouver Columbian

Media stories:
    August 10, 2008
The Olympian   Campaign trail for August 10
    August 4, 2008
The Olympian   It's still a race for 2 spots on top court
    June 13, 2008
The Olympian   Justice Stephens’ opponent drops out; more drop out in other races
Tacoma News Tribune   Former chief public defender won’t run for Supreme Court
    June 12, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Challenger for rookie Supreme Court justice drops out
    June 11, 2008
Seattle P-I   Court contenders vow fair fight
    June 5, 2008
The Olympian   Surprise filing in Supreme Court race vs. Stephens
    June 3, 2008
The Olympian   Two state justices plan fair re-runs
    May 25, 2008
Tacoma News Tribune   Growing rancor a chilling effect on court races
    April 7, 2008
The Olympian   Few step up to challenge seated justices
    March 30, 2008
Seattle Times   [Editorial] The highest court merits a deep field
    January 14, 2008
Yakima Herald   [Editorial] New justice brings diversity, prowess to state's high court
    January 8, 2008
Spokesman-Review   Stephens sworn in to high court
The Olympian   Ex-trial lawyer Stephens joins state Supreme Court
    January 7, 2008
Spokesman-Review   Middle road to the high court
    December 8, 2007
Seattle P-I   Gregoire's high court pick: Smooth sailing?
    December 5, 2007
Seattle Times   Spokane native appointed to state's top court
Seattle P-I   [Editorial] State Supreme Court: A plus for justice
The Olympian   Gregoire makes first pick for court
Spokesman-Review   Gregoire elevates Spokane judge
Spokesman-Review   [Editorial] Our View: Geographical justice
    December 4, 2007
The Olympian   WA gov picks Spokane jurist for high court
Spokesman-Review   Local judge named to state's high court
Tri-City Herald   Spokane woman appointed to state Supreme Court

 , P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
Write to

As the election approaches, will include ratings and endorsements from numerous organizations. We provide this information so that voters will be better informed about the candidates. We do not rate or endorse any candidates; the ratings and endorsements of organizations included at this site reflect the views of those individual organizations and not necessarily the views of or its sponsors.