Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 19, 2006
LAW: Those Latvian Judges

I was puzzled when I first read this LA Times article, which discussed the electoral defeat of Judge Dzintra Janavs, an apparently well-regarded Los Angeles judge, by Lynn Diane Olson, who runs a bagel store and has barely practiced law. (Via Bashman). What was so obviously odd was the LAT's insistence, really without any scrap of evidence, that Janavs' defeat in ethnically polyglot LA was due to bigotry against her Latvian name. Only much later in the article does one get the real story:

Olson and her husband, Michael Keegan, a Hermosa Beach councilman, said they did not target Janavs because of her name, but rather because she was Republican.

"I targeted Janavs because of her political affiliation, time on the bench and what I hear about her from people in the legal community," Olson said, referring to Janavs' reputation for courtroom gruffness.

Thousands of campaign mailers funded by Olson, as well as about 50,000 e-mails directed at registered Democrats, emphasized the candidate's endorsement by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

Patterico noted a different slant in the story, that being the LAT's use of the case to attack the concept of judicial elections, and has followed up by nothing that California's Republican governor has now stepped in to give Janavs another appointment on the bench, while also tracking down some lawyers who think she was a terrible judge anyway. Either way, it's pretty clear that the LAT didn't bother to get the story straight.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:08 AM | Law 2006-08 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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