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By Virginia Right (Reporter)
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Sandy’s Out of Blog Retirement…to Defend the Legal System Against a Scurrilous Attack!

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Sandy’s Still Running for Judge BUT This Ad I Just Got Must be Answered!

I stepped away from the blog for the campaign for the Court of Appeals and I am one of the fifty who placed their name (paywall) in for the endorsement of the Virginia State Bar.

I was going to stay out of active politics but here is the fifty cent version of my activities:

  1. I eschewed the GOP “convention” because I would not promise I will support the statewide winners – I probably will – because the Libertarian Party might run a statewide candidate.
  2. So I decided to (almost certainly) vote in the Democratic primary provided my vote will not be to hurt one candidate but help the best of a bad group of choices. If I am eliminated as a judicial candidate before June, I will indicate who I will vote for and why.
  3. I have been letting the 140 votes in the judicial primary (The House and Senate) know why I should be a judge: Experience, scholarly writing (ten law review/journal articles), several practice-oriented articles, taught at several places as an adjunct, and was Virginia’s first Appellate Defender from 1996 to 2000 (original title was Director, Capital and Appellate Services). I also defended indigents in Prince William County for nearly a decade in private practice.

But this scurrilous ad came out from the Virginia Cornerstone PAC and I must object! Here is their website (They are also after Glenn Youngkin, too.) and they say they want to retake the House of Delegates for the Republicans. Here is their FB page.

The ad

This ad attacked GOP AG candidate for representing child predators and illegal immigrants. Cites cases. We do not know if Chuck Smith was appointed or retained for these cases. That small fact is not important to the PAC’s attack. But it is relevant. The court appoints lawyers to represent indigent suspects and the immigration status of the suspect is irrelevant to his or her right to counsel. Since Gideon v. Wainwright in the early 1960s, people too poor for to afford an attorney in a serious criminal case have that right. And criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

No PAC should ever attack a candidate for representing accused criminals! I urge my readers to give some polite but tough criticism at the FB page of this PAC to renounce the ad.

This is not an endorsement of any candidate although I know Smith and he used the legal printing service I work for.


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