Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.
The Ten Commandments should not be displayed in public school buildings or court houses.
What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?
The concept of "separation of church and state" is meant to prohibit a theocracy, but it was never meant to prohibit the free exercise of faith. The first two clauses of the First Amendment are brilliant because the establishment clause recognized the potential abuses of a theocracy and the free exercise clause recognized the benefits of individual religious liberty.
Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.
George Washington's comment that “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” is still true today.
What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?
People are flawed and gravitate toward the use of power and control over others. Separation of powers is a check on that human weakness.
Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.
I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic and continue to practice that faith. I believe that religious liberty assures that I can practice my faith, my neighbors can practice a different faith, and my other neighbors can choose to practice no faith at all.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges allowing members of the same sex to marry, which justice’s opinion in that case most closely approximates your understanding of marriage?
I voted in these elections:
2012 Primary, 2012 General Election, 2014 Primary, 2014 General Election, 2016 Primary, 2016 General Election, 2018 Primary, 2018 General Election
When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?
Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.
My job is to follow the law and the Constitution and my personal views are not relevant. We are prohibited from identifying in any way with partisan politics and this question seems to request such a response or identification.
What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?
I have 35 years of experience; 23 years as a civil trial lawyer and 12 years as a criminal trial judge. I have demonstrated my ability to follow the law and the Constitution as written and that I am fair and impartial. I received the highest possible peer rating as a trial lawyer and the highest possible rating as a trial judge.
In what areas of law have you practiced?
Tort, aerospace, construction, and contract law as a lawyer and criminal law as a judge.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?
I am running in large part because... We are in a crisis because the courts have become a revolving door for repeat offenders. Local communities are left with the financial burden to deal with crime, addiction, and untreated mental illness that aggravate the homelessness crisis. This has created an unintended and inconsistent response because cash strapped jurisdictions cannot afford a proper response so the problems persist or simply get pushed to neighboring jurisdictions. I have worked hard as a trial judge, and I will work even harder as a Justice, to provide common sense coordinated solutions to this unprecedented crisis. There are pockets of brilliance in our local courts that need to be duplicated statewide, but we need leadership in our highest court to make that a reality.
The U.S. Constitution and my state constitution should be interpreted as living documents, rather than using a strict constructionist or originalist approach in judicial decisions.
There are times when American judges should alter U.S. case law in order to comply with foreign case law.
I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.
There should be more than nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Which current U.S. Supreme Court justice best reflects your judicial philosophy?
I have not studied their judicial philosophies
Which U.S. president serving after 1960 best reflects your political philosophy?
Judges cannot identify with a political philosophy
What is the proper use of legislative history in interpreting statutory law?
Legislative history is important to use if a statute is unclear. Otherwise, the statute should be construed using the plain meaning of its words.
What specific text in the Declaration of Independence provides the critical basis for individual rights and the form of government guaranteed in the United States Constitution?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" and... "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." The first quote defines the basis for our rights, and the second quote defines the sacrifice needed to preserve those rights.