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Op-Ed: In Support of Russell Marne for Judge

Ryan Holliday says Judge James Chou should have debated his opponent during this campaign.

By Ryan Holliday

What is Judge James Chou hiding? Is it his lack of experience in the law he was selected — not elected — to preside over?

Both the Marin County League of Women Voters and the Marin County Bar Association requested that Chou debate his opponent, Russell Marne. Chou was a no-show at the debates. 

His supporters should be no shows at the polls. If Chou did not have time for the citizens of Marin, the citizens of Marin should have no time for him. 

It's time to elect someone for the position of judge rather than "retain" a selected inexperienced political appointee who does not have the time to face questions from the voters of Marin.

— Ryan Holliday, Novato

 

Marin Voters May 31, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Sonia G. - Chou is nowhere near as tough on crime as Russell Marne will be. I have personally spoken to Mr. Marne and it is clear that he has no tolerance for violent crime. Do your homework and you will see that the career prosecutors that we currently have as appointed judges are not as tough on crime as you would expect. "According to court records, Arroyo has appeared in Marin County Superior Court on numerous occasions for charges including obstructing an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamines and carrying a concealed weapon." Our Schwarzenegger appointed judges kept giving Arroyo a pass and now look what he has done!!! It is time for a change and that is why my vote is for Russell Marne.
Marin Voters May 31, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Russell Marne too has a career of accomplishments and universal praise from those he worked with, worked against and the judges he appeared before. The difference is that Mr. Marne's accomplishments were here in our community, for the benefit of our citizens. Mr. Marne has received awards from all sitting judge HERE in Marin County; I’ve seen them, they hang on the wall of his office. Over his career Chou has received NO awards from any judges of the Marin County Courts. The choice is clear = Vote local, Vote Russell Marne for Judge
Andrea Widburg June 01, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Marne is running an entirely negative campaign. Since he doesn't have anything useful to offer about himself beyond "Hey, I'm an attorney," all he can do is attempt to blacken Judge Chou's record. Unfortunately for Marne, Judge Chou's record speaks for itself. Yes, Judge Chou was a federal prosecutor during the Bush years. He was also a prosecutor during the Clinton and Obama years. Indeed, it was during the Obama administration that Judge Chou's work was so impressive, he received the (Democratic) Attorney General's highest honor. His award-filled career of public service shows Judge Chou to be a man of impressive intelligence, skill, and commitment. Gov. Schwarzenegger appointed Judge Chou, a Democrat, to the bench, not because Judge Chou is a political operative, but because he's an unusually skilled attorney whose appointment would -- and did -- make the governor look good. Marne also complains that Judge Chou hasn't worked in Marin. That's a peculiar standard, because the law is the same throughout California. There is no special "Marin law." To the extent that there is a "Marin outlook," though, Judge Chou more than makes the grade. He and his familiar have been deeply integrated into Marin's community for more than a decade. Judge Chou has also used his judgeship to expand his community service opportunities. Judge Chou is a superb lawyer and a truly good human being. Vote to re-elect Judge Chou.
Christopher Powers June 02, 2012 at 01:22 AM
What I find interesting here, in the comment section, is that those in support of Judge Chou proudly display their names while the author(s) of the comments in support of his opponent appear to hide behind a pen-name. My name is Christopher Powers and I support Judge Chou. Judge Chou brings extensive experience to the bench. He represents a broad and deep understanding of the laws that govern the people of the County and the State. While those who support his opponent speak to what might be done, Judge Chou has already demonstrated what he can do. He is fair, impartial and tough. He understands the nuance of a judgeship. I expect experience on the bench, I expect Judge Chou. It is the experienced choice.
Tina McMillan June 02, 2012 at 05:07 AM
http://www.marinij.com/opinion/ci_20552390/editorial-ij-recommends-retaining-judge-chou-marin-bench "Marne may make a good case for being elected to the bench, but not at the expense of losing Chou, whose experience as a federal prosecutor — handling gang and drug cases — is a valuable asset for Marin. Local judges must be capable of handling a variety of sectors of the law, inluding criminal and civil, family law and business contracts. Chou is ready to develop that additional expertise. "I do my research. I study up on it. I hit the books," he said. Marne says he's running because he's concerned that Marin's bench has become dominated by criminal prosecutors, a reflection of Schwarzenegger's preference. He says he has a "depth or breadth of experience" that Chou can't match. But by emphasizing the former GOP governor and Chou having started out his career working for a "union-busting" law firm, Marne appears to be running his campaign on partisan politics rather than legal aptitude."

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