Two judges on the seven-member Oregon Supreme Court are in races for election this month, and there’s a contest in one of them. Meagan A. Flynn was appointed to the court last year. Van Pounds, a lawyer in the state Department of Consumer and Business Services, hopes to unseat her.
Flynn is a far better qualified candidate and should be returned to office.
Pounds, 63, moved to Oregon and was admitted to the state bar in 2011. He received a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University and attended law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Most of his legal career, which began in 1980, has been spent with government agencies.
Pounds argues, correctly, that most judges in Oregon gain their seats when the sitting governor appoints them to the bench. That, he believes, leaves the public out of the process.
It is also true, though, that every judge must run for office every six years, beginning when the term during which they were appointed expires. If there’s a flaw in the process, it stems from the fact that judges tend to step down midterm, leaving it up to the governor to appoint a replacement.
Pounds makes a good point. But Flynn deserves your vote.
Flynn, 50, is a graduate of Willamette University and the Gonzaga University law school. She was admitted to the Oregon Bar in 1992 and clerked in the Court of Appeals. She was in private practice from 1994 until 2014, when she was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. John Kitzhaber. Gov. Kate Brown named her to the Supreme Court last year.
Flynn’s time on the bench and lifetime career in Oregon give her a breadth of knowledge and experience that Pounds cannot match. She’s decided criminal, civil and administrative cases on both courts. Flynn believes clear thinking and clear writing about complex issues are critical to being a good judge, as is the ability to work well with others. She has, she says, a “thoughtful and deliberative temperament.” Her biggest concern, she says, is that Oregonians have access to the justice they need from people they trust to be fair.
Flynn’s background and qualifications easily make her the standout candidate in this race. Voters should choose her in the primary election.