Van Pounds for Oregon Supreme Court

           . . . for Justice.

           . . . for Oregon.

VAN POUNDS is a candidate for the Oregon Supreme Court, Position 1.

VAN POUNDS is an experienced lawyer, having practiced in various public and private sector capacities for some 40 years.  He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, with Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Dispute Resolution degrees.  He is licensed to practice law in Oregon and Missouri.

VAN POUNDS is a concerned citizen.  He recognizes the need for change to the Oregon judicial selection process – to make the process more transparent, to reduce the appearance of partisanship and to provide Oregon voters with a more meaningful say in who gets to be judge.

                                                                 ~ LET’S MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT ~

Although the Oregon Constitution states that judges are to be elected by the voters of this state, such voters are rarely given a choice.  As judicial vacancies occur, the governor unilaterally fills them by appointment.  Such appointed judges thereafter gain the advantage of incumbency and rarely, if ever, face an election opponent. According to the National Center for State Courts, some 85% of Oregon judges have first been appointed rather than elected in recent years, and the vast majority have been unopposed in the elections to retain their seats.

Every judge currently sitting on the Oregon Supreme Court got there by means of a gubernatorial appointment.  Five of those seven judges have now been appointed by one person – the current governor.  If the Position 1 incumbent is re-elected and then resigns mid-term (as anticipated), the governor will be afforded yet another opportunity to unilaterally hand-pick a replacement.

Oregonians deserve a judiciary that functions in an independent and non-partisan manner.  Sadly, however, the prevailing process for picking judges provides little reassurance in that regard.

VAN POUNDS offers voters a voice for positive reform, as well as a meaningful choice for judge.  He is, and will continue to be, an ardent advocate for improvement of the judicial selection and retention processes.

  • He advocates the establishment of non-partisan judicial nominating commissions – to promote greater transparency, and to reduce the likelihood of undue partisan political influence, in the selection of judges.

  • He advocates the implementation of systems by which the public in general, and voters in particular, may be better educated regarding the functions of the Oregon judiciary and how well judges are doing their jobs.

Consistent with the Code of Judicial Conduct, VAN POUNDS pledges to perform the duties of judicial office diligently, fairly and impartially, and in accordance with the rule of law.  He welcomes your vote for judge of the Oregon Supreme Court, Position 1.                                                        


                                                          Show your support for positive change.

                                    Cast your ballot for VAN POUNDS in the May 19, 2020 primary election.


Further information regarding the shortcomings of the current judicial selection process can be found in the articles listed below:

Nigel Jaquiss, Retired Chief Justice of Oregon Supreme Court Says Gov. Kate Brown Should Revoke Misha Isaak’s Appointment to the Oregon Court of Appeals, Willamette Week (Sept. 13, 2019)

Nigel Jaquiss, Critics Call for Gov. Kate Brown to Rescind Appointment of Her General Counsel to Court of Appeals, Willamette Week (Sept. 11, 2019)

Hillary Borrud, Kate Brown’s state lawyer skipped the application process on his way to Multnomah County bench, The Oregonian (July 14, 2017)

Emily Green, Dishonorable: The trouble with Oregon’s judicial elections, Street Roots (Nov. 3, 2016)

R. William Riggs and W. Michael Gillette, Process for choosing judges in Oregon must change, The Oregonian (Jan. 23, 2015)

April Baer, Oregon Earns ‘D’ Grade in National Judicial Review, Oregon Public Broadcasting (June 6, 2012)

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