I guess I'm on another rant here. It's been raining here all weekend and I've been stuck inside, bored to death. And then I find this local story!
The last paragraph is what pi$$ed me off, a judge enforces the law he does not do what HE THINKS is right. The rest is just political rhetoric. If this is the attitude of others in the legal profession it's no wonder the country's judicial system is such a mess.
Pair keep Madera Co. judge race low profile
By Charles McCarthy / The Fresno Bee
MADERA -- Whoever is elected to fill a Madera County Court judge vacancy will be just steps away from his new courthouse office.
District Attorney Ernest LiCalsi already has an office in the refurbished 1911 schoolhouse that serves as the Madera County Courthouse. Madera lawyer Brian T. Austin's office is just across the Yosemite Avenue bridge over Highway 99. Both men are running in the June 3 election to succeed retiring Judge John W. DeGroot.
The race between a longtime officeholder and an ex-cop has been low profile. Perhaps the most visible signs of the campaign so far are their names emblazoned across windshields and bumpers on cars parked nearby.
LiCalsi hopes to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. LiCalsi has been district attorney since 1991, when he was promoted from assistant to succeed then-District Attorney David Minier, who had just won election to the Madera County bench.
Austin wasn't about to let LiCalsi run unopposed. He has not run for office before. He said he expects to be elected by individuals, not "the old movers and shakers in Madera County."
Austin was a San Diego reserve sheriff's deputy and worked full time for three years as a Madera police officer. He was a volunteer temporary judge in both civil and criminal cases for two years.
Before that, Austin served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the Fresno City College Police Academy and in 1994 graduated from the San Joaquin College of Law.
"I don't think necessarily that a judge should be like a politician," Austin said. "You should be beholden to no one."
LiCalsi was re-elected district attorney in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. He said he will complete his four-year term if he doesn't win the judgeship.
In 23 years as a prosecutor, LiCalsi said he has prosecuted more than 130 jury trials, including four death-penalty cases and numerous homicide cases.
LiCalsi is a 1984 graduate of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
A good judge, LiCalsi said, has a good knowledge of the law and the "ability to discern what's going to be the best decision for the parties and society."
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