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Richard Sanders


Washington Supreme Court

Position Six

Richard Sanders

Legal/Judicial Experience: First elected to Supreme Court in 1995; and reelected in 1998 and 2004. During my time on the Court, I have written more opinions than any other Justice. Before that, I practiced law for 26 years. I have also served as an adjunct professor teaching appellate advocacy at the UW School of Law, and guest lectured on state constitutional law at Seattle University.

Other Professional Experience: I am an Eagle Scout and once played the French horn in the Rose Bowl.

Education: B.S. and J.D., University of Washington.

Community Service: I frequently lecture and have written many legal articles and opinion pieces explaining our constitutional rights.

Statement: A Supreme Court Justice must uphold the highest ethical standards, working to assure that government is open and the rights of citizens are protected. It has been my honor to serve on our state's highest court since 1995 and to follow these standards.

Article 1, Section 1 of our Constitution states: "governments...are established to protect and maintain individual rights." I believe that's the job description of a Justice also: we must look out for the individual citizen and protect our Constitutional rights. Sometimes this makes me seem conservative, as when I support property rights, and sometimes it makes me seem liberal, as when I call on the federal government to end the unconstitutional treatment of prisoners. But I am consistent: we have rights the government must not violate. Thomas Jefferson said the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. It's a good thought to remember.

Justice Sanders attracts support that cuts across the spectrum, with endorsements including: Democratic and Republican Senators; the State Republican and Libertarian Parties; judges and civil libertarians; the Association of Washington Business and union members -- more than 1,000 endorsers.

Vote to reelect Justice Richard Sanders.

Official web site: | Facebook  
Opponent: Charlie Wiggins
Questionnaire responses: For Municipal League of King County
For King County Democrats

Streaming video: For Position 6

Video Voters' Guide:

Candidate ratings:

King County Bar Association Well Qualified Exceptionally
Well Qualified
Tacoma-Pierce County
Bar Association
* Exceptionally
Well Qualified
Municipal League
of King County
Good Outstanding
Joint Asian
Judicial Evaluations Committee
* Well Qualified
Latina/o Bar Association
of Washington
* Exceptionally
Well Qualified
Loren Miller Bar Association * Exceptionally
Well Qualified
Washington Association
of Prosecuting Attorneys
* 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. We do not have ratings for candidates with an asterisk (*), and the reasons vary. Some evaluations may still be in process, or we might not have received them yet; 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):

Centralia Chronicle (Primary)  
Everett Herald  
Kitsap Sun (Primary)  
Longview Daily News (Primary)  
Seattle Times  
Skagit Valley Herald  
Spokane Spokesman-Review (Primary)  
Tacoma News Tribune  
Tri-City Herald (Primary)  
Vancouver Columbian  
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin  
Yakima Herald  

Finance report:


Richard Sanders
Campaign Contributions
10/27/2010 Contributors to
Richard Sanders
Whatcom County
Republican Party
10/27/2010 Supporting
Richard Sanders
TOTAL Supporting Richard Sanders or Opposing Charlie Wiggins $269,866.03
Charlie Wiggins
Campaign Contributors
10/27/2010 Contributors to
Charlie Wiggins
Personal Funds $30,025.00
Strong Economy PAC
(The Roosevelt Fund)
10/27/2010 Supporting
Charlie Wiggins
Planned Parenthood Votes
Washington PAC
10/27/2010 Supporting
Charlie Wiggins
NARAL Pro-Choice
Washington PAC
10/27/2010 Supporting
Charlie Wiggins
FUSE Votes 10/27/2010 Opposing
Richard Sanders
TOTAL Supporting Charlie Wiggins or Opposing Richard Sanders $282,979.76

Media stories:
    October 31, 2010
Seattle Times   [Column] Pulling the Justice Sanders endorsement: You be the judge
    October 30, 2010
Seattle Times   [Column] Justice Sanders got a bum rap over comments about incarcerated African Americans
Seattle Times   [Column] Discrimination is the well-documented cause of race disparity in prison
Seattle Times   [Column] Pulling the Justice Sanders endorsement: You be the judge
    October 28, 2010
Seattle Times   Justice Sanders and opponent spar over editorial withdrawing support for Sanders
    October 25, 2010
Seattle P-I   [Column] The flapping gums of Justice Richard Sanders
The Olympian   Newspaper un-endorses Supreme Court Justice Sanders after remark
    October 21, 2010
Seattle Times   Two state Supreme Court justices stun some listeners with race comments
    October 16, 2010
The Olympian   WA Supreme Court race puts Sanders on defense
    October 15, 2010
Seattle Times   Stark differences between State Supreme Court candidates Richard Sanders and Charlie Wiggins
Bainbridge Island Review   Wiggins vs. Sanders again
    October 12, 2010
Spokesman-Review   Washington Supreme Court, Position 6 race
    October 7, 2010
The Stranger   High court hypocrite
    October 3, 2010
Tacoma News Tribune   Campaign novelty: Smart candidates civilly disagreeing
    September 29, 2010
Seattle Times   Supreme Court candidates Sanders, Wiggins spar in Seattle debate
    August 18, 2010
Bainbridge Island Review   Supreme Court race too close to call
    August 17, 2010
Seattle Times   Incumbent WA justices face tough re-election bids
    August 14, 2010
Tri-City Herald   Challengers accuse Supreme Court justice of bias
    August 13, 2010
The Olympian   Supreme Court candidates refusing 'ethics' pledge
    August 9, 2010
Seattle P-I   [Column] Right-thinking, activist judges need replacing
    August 7, 2010
Spokesman-Review   Challengers to Sanders perk up state court ballot
    August 3, 2010
Vancouver Columbian   Judicial candidates discuss bench philosophies at forum
    August 1, 2010
Peninsula Daily News   Supreme Court justice candidates appear at Port Ludlow forum
    July 30, 2010
The Olympian   Justice Sanders' behavior is issue in state court race
    July 29, 2010
Seattle Times   Justice Richard Sanders, as usual, draws fire from two election opponents
    July 28, 2010
Peninsula Daily News   State judge hopefuls spar during forum
    July 25, 2010
Seattle Times   3 Wash. Supreme Court justices seek re-election
    July 20, 2010
Vancouver Columbian   Supreme Court candidates describe themselves, each other
    June 18, 2010
Bellingham Herald   AWB backs incumbents on state Supreme Court
    June 3, 2010
Yakima Herald   Justice Sanders responds to challenger's criticisms
    May 2, 2010
Aberdeen Daily World   High court challenger questions decisions of Justice Richard Sanders
    April 28, 2010
Yakima Herald   Bainbridge Island attorney to challenge for high court seat
    March 2, 2010
Tacoma News Tribune   Sanders to stand for re-election to court
    March 1, 2010
Kitsap Business Journal   Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders announces re-election bid
    February 20, 2010
Seattle Times   Bainbridge attorney to run against Justice Sanders

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