Patterico's Pontifications


Amy Carter for Judge

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:00 am

Every Los Angeles County resident reading this blog should vote for Amy Carter for judge on June 3. I have never been this pleased to be able to endorse a judicial candidate.

I have known Amy for over fifteen years. Aside from the wonderful Mrs. P., Amy is my favorite person in the District Attorney’s office. Mrs. P. and I are personal friends of Amy and her husband Rick. We always see eye to eye on everything, and Amy never fails to make me laugh.

I do not endorse Amy Carter because she is one of my best friends — although she is. I do not endorse her because she is a hardworking and capable Deputy District Attorney — although she is. I endorse Amy Carter because she has the perfect combination of traits that I think are important for a judge to have. It’s not just her legal knowledge, or her strong work ethic, or her even, sunny temperament that make Amy special. She is also completely down to earth — a very funny, self-deprecating person who will not let it go to her head when she puts on one of those black robes. Amy is brilliant and wonderful in every way. She will be a credit to the bench.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 10.41.40 PM
Amy Carter for judge

As I did with my post on Teresa Magno, I want to say a few words about Amy’s opponent. That opponent, Pamela Matsumoto, received a “well qualified” rating from the L.A. County Bar, while Amy received a “qualified” rating. As the insightful Met News says: “In our view, the County Bar has it backwards.” Indeed. So, too, do the morons at the Los Angeles Times, who endorse Amy’s opponent. (Have they ever gotten anything right?) As the Met News observes:

THERE APPEARS TO BE no inclination on the part of LACBA or the Times to hold Matsumoto to task for having forced a writ proceeding by virtue of the invalid ballot designation she claimed of “Administrative Law Judge.”

That’s something she had been, but wasn’t.

Matsomoto has been an insurance defense lawyer for months, and held that position when she chose “Administrative Law Judge” — her former position — as her ballot designation. As the Met News explains, this was a misleading designation because you’re not supposed to list a former job as your designation if you’re currently doing something else. Matsumoto had this pointed out to her, by Amy’s lawyer — yet Matsumoto refused to change the designation. Amy had to hire a lawyer and file a writ to force Matsumoto to remove the misleading designation. (In a bizarre irony, Matsumoto’s lawyer was a friend of mine at the University of Texas at Austin Law School. Sorry, Stuart, but this was a loser of an argument!)

I think it reflects poorly on Matsumoto that she tried to pretend she was something she is not. What’s more, as the Met News notes, Matsumoto’s vaunted so-called judicial experience is not all it’s cracked up to be:

As to Matsumoto’s “time on the bench,” from 2006-2012, she heard matters in the Informal Juvenile and Traffic Court, disbanded in 2012 due to deficiencies in court funding. Youngsters and their parents, often with the complaining police officer present, met with her in a small room. There was no prosecutor, no bailiff, no court reporter, no clerk, no jury, and only rarely a defense attorney. Penalties were of such nature as being required to write an essay or doing community service. Matsumoto functioned more like an assistant vice principal than a judge.

She was not an “an on-call bench officer doing much of the work of a full-time judge.” There are “as-needed referees” who do fill-in for judges, when summoned. Matsumoto was not one of them; rather, she was a fulltime IJTC referee who did a type of work that judges did not do.

While Carter was in a courtroom prosecuting perpetrators of murders and rapes, Matsumoto was sitting behind a desk counseling kids who had been caught littering, loitering, or jaywalking.

The Met News nails it, while the eternally clueless L.A. Times continues to embarrass itself.

Amy’s Web site is here. I have contributed to her campaign and encourage you to do the same. You’ll never see a more deserving candidate. Amy has my full support and confidence.

16 Responses to “Amy Carter for Judge”

  1. Ding!

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. i always look forward to, and widely share your ballot recommendations for these seats…

    will you be making any more of these?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. I already mailed in my ballot. Fortunately, I got this one right — based in part, I believe, on what groups endorsed which candidate. IIRC, Carter had the right groups and her opponent had the wrong ones.

    Mitch (bfd5cd)

  4. I don’t plan to make any other judicial endorsements this election season. You should not read into this any negative conclusions about any other Deputy D.A.’s. There are so many D.A.’s running in this race, that I decided to restrict my endorsements to the people I know best, Amy Carter and Teresa Magno. (I will mention that I also gave money to Shannon Knight, so draw any conclusions you like from that.) Many of the other Deputy D.A.’s running are also fine people who deserve your vote.

    If you’re looking for further guidance, I will say that the Met News seems to be doing a pretty good job of analyzing the races. I can’t say I agree with all their decisions, but they are surprisingly insightful, and get it right far more often than not. And of course, the L.A. Times (as usual) simply does not have a clue.

    Long-time readers who want to email me privately for my input on judicial races are welcome to do so. If I don’t know you, I won’t respond.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  5. I’ve seen the Los Angeles Times get baseball scores right.

    Charlie Davis (ae637c)

  6. At first, I thought this was a retro joke about the 1980 Presidential Debate in which Jimmy Carter mentioned having asked his daughter Amy what she thought was the world’s most important issue was (her alleged answer was “nuclear weaponry”).

    BTW…Is she that cute in person?

    L.N. Smithee (6796fe)

  7. Sorry about the extra “was.” I was humming the song from The Wizard of Oz and an extra one just came out. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

    L.N. Smithee (6796fe)

  8. Winston Churchill used to sing that song a lot at low moments during World War II, although he was mistaken as to where it came from.

    He thought it was an Australian song.

    In the copy of “Their Finest Hour” by Winston Churchill (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949) it says, on the bottom of page 615, and top of page 616:

    ….[Jan 3, 1941] Two Australian brigades carried on the attack and swept east and southeastward. They sang at that time a song which they had brought with them from Australia which soon spread to Britain.

    “Have you heard of the wonderful wizard,
    The wonderful wizard of Oz,
    And he is a wonderful wizard,
    If ever a wizard there was.”

    This tune always reminds me of these bouyant days.

    Sammy Finkelman (5a8954)

  9. Okay, Carter has my vote.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  10. @6- That is what crossed my mind too. I was skeptical about both a presidential child getting a regular job, and also a Democrat one being a prosecutor.

    gramps, the original (4615a6)

  11. Carter is actually a fairly common name.

    But how can anyone just ignore the fact that it is the same name as somebody somewhat famous whom people have opinions about?

    Is not saying anything the best way to handle it?

    By the way, Amy is a name given almost exclusively to white babies in California in the 1990s, according to Freakonomics, page 168 (Amy didn’t make any other list in that chapter)

    Only “Molly” is a “whiter” girl’s name.

    Sammy Finkelman (18bea8)

  12. I was an ALJ with the welfare office for a while.

    I would not describe it as being “like a judge,” in that the formal rules of evidence were suspended, we could re-open cases sua sponte or allow for introduction of evidence after a hearing, and the results were not those of a civil or criminal trial (ie, we didn’t throw people in jail, render monetary judgements, or attach liens to their homes).

    So there was not much “thinking on one’s feet” that was required: we didnt have to make on the spot rulings about the admissibility of evidence, for example, and we never sanctioned anyone at the hearing. There was no jury. As you noted, it is not an adversarial process.

    That sad, there was a very judicial element to it: I had to research and write opinions that affect peope’s legal rights. It is probably akin to being a law clerk at the trial court level. (Did Attorney Carter’s opponent ever author opinions?)

    bridget (37b281)

  13. One race pretty much has everyone (Met, LAT, others) in agreement: Carol Rose does not have the temperament to be a judge, so vote instead for the old pol, Calderon. NOTA is not a choice.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  14. that picture is sorta

    not saying judge to me

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. They wouldn’t hold the election that day (Tuesday, June 3) in New York State.

    It is the day before the Jewish holiday of Shavuous, and although the polls probably close in California (8 pm) before candlelighting time (8:03 pm in New York City) that day, it would create some difficulty for some people working the polls, or poll watchers, or candidates, and that would be enough to get the state legislature to pass a law changing the date for that election.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  16. There is zero correlation between being a good trial lawyer and the judgment required to be a judge. Preferably, I would like to see someone more rounded. Someone who has been a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and who possibly has also had ciivil experience. Your friend seems fine – but she’s also too young. Best of luck to her, she seems like a good person.

    Scippio Americanas (e776f2)

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