From the endorsement interviews: Our case for John Bradbury

We didn't orchestrate it, but we have endorsed against four of Butch Otter's gubernatorial appointees, and haven't endorsed any of them.

In this morning's paper, we endorsed challenger John Bradbury over Joel Horton, appointed seven months ago to a seat on the Idaho Supreme Court.

This was the toughest of the four choices. Horton certainly has the credentials, the temperament and the intellect to serve on the Supreme Court. In other words, Horton is no disaster — unlike Otter legislative appointees Rep. Curtis Bowers of Caldwell and Sen. Shirley McKague of Meridian.

So why Bradbury, who is running as an outsider? We like his determination to make the court system more accessible and affordable — from seeking magistrate courts in West Ada County's rapidly growing bedroom communities to encouraging the courts to allow expert witnesses to testify by video. "People will use a system that they trust and they can afford."

Another interesting idea: Bradbury would like the courts to create a database that measures sentencings across the state, looking for disparities based on race, gender or geography. A database makes a lot of sense and could lead to fewer appeals based on sentencings. The danger, and Bradbury is well aware of it, would be the temptation to set a series of binding guidelines that take away judicial discretion.

Not surprisingly, Bradbury is a critic of judicial appointments and an ardent supporter of judicial elections. There is an obvious downside, Bradbury says: the system forces candidates to set up fund-raising committees and try to keep arm's length distance from donors (to his end, Bradbury says he is self-financing his campaign). The upside: Elections force candidates to scrutinize the court system, and ways to improve it. "That's how ideas get discussed."

Amen. And we like the ideas Bradbury is discussing.

Good points

Bradbury indeed seems refreshing.

I am always uncomfortable voting for judges but equally so having them appointed. This "race" will take some serious study.

Thanks for getting this debate up and running. I look forward to other posts and viewpoints.

Joel horton is simplot "yes" man

Judge Horton should be investigated by the judicial council. He sat on and authored the recent decision to take away a jury verdict against Simplot for poisioning a local farmer's field for 2.5 million dollars. The problem? Just prior to setting in on the decision he had appointed chief counsel for Simplot as his campaign manager. Dave Spurling (counsel for simplot)was seeking donations for the election of Judge Horton while judge horton is setting on the supreme court and hearing the appeal on the simplot case. Is it any wonder how the decision went. Judges are suppose to recuse themselves at the appearance of a conflict. Judge Horton a self professed law geek would certainly know the rule of relating to a conflict of intrest. Did judge horton advises the parties as to the conflict? No. Did he recuse himself? No. Get this Simplot "yes" man off the Supreme Court. No politicians on the courts.

no Politicians on the court

If you don't want politicians on the court you need to advocate not having elections for judges, rather than try to bring down a good judge, with good character. Justice Horton is no yes man for Simplot. It wouldn't matter who his campaign manager was you people would still find some off the wall connection that makes Joel Horton the wrong guy, when you should really be looking at the process rather than the one forced to run against a candidate that is simply trying to buy himself a seat on the court while championing issues that are not within the courts grasp. If you don't like politicians, run for office and change the way things are, don't slander good folks like Supreme Court Justice Horton

What does elections have to

What does elections have to do with conflict of intrest ethics as they pertain to the supreme court. You cannot sit on a case where there is a appearance of a conflict let alone a direct conflict. It is really quite simple. If someone is collecting money for your campaign recuse yourself and remove any doubt. When you don't you invite questions. This is not off the wall and is basic ethics. It is also not the first time he (horton) has come to rhe rescue to Simplot. A jury awarded a peson $250,000 in damages in a case when Horton was a district judge. Horton also cut that award to $100,000 see any pattern there. Try this he was appointed shortly there after to the supreme court. Slander is an untruth. Truth is you should spend 5 minutes on google to research Horton and others before voting or writing your nonsense.

Nobody is a yes man for Simplot anymore.

He died.

Don't put judges in cases either, Mr. Soprano.