Judges and Justices

Tucked in among the mudslinging and brochure-mailing contests on Tuesday’s ballot are several races involving candidates that most Orange County voters never heard of. The candidates are attorneys seeking election as judge, or 4th District Court of Appeal justices running unopposed and seeking voter confirmation for another term.

All of the justices deserve reelection. There is no opposition to any of them, nor is there a reason for any.

In the contested races, retirement has created one open Superior Court seat and two Municipal Court posts.

Last spring we interviewed all the judicial candidates and found William M. Bedsworth, James M. (Jim) Brooks and Richard E. Behn among the most qualified candidates for judge. They are now on the Nov. 4 ballot, and we urge their election.


William M. Bedsworth, running for Superior Court Office 5, is a senior prosecutor in the county district attorney’s office. He received the highest rating of all judicial candidates in an Orange County Bar Assn. poll. He earned that rating.

Richard E. Behn is a court commissioner in the North County Municipal Court District, where he is running for judge. He has been doing the work of a judge exceptionally well, displaying knowledge and compassion. He has strong across-the-board support from police, the legal community and the public.

James M. Brooks, seeking election to the Central Municipal Court, is another senior prosecutor in the district attorney’s office who, by experience and ability, has the qualifications to move onto the Municipal Court bench where his knowledge of criminal law could be put to good use.

Appellate Court justices running for reelection and deserving of a yes vote are: Daniel J. Kremer, Edward T. Butler, Jerry J. Lewis, Joseph B. Campbell, John H. Hews, John K. Trotter Jr., Thomas F. Crosby Jr., Sheila Prell Sonenshine and Edward J. Wallin.