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At the Washington Supreme Court, Sheryl McCloud of Bainbridge Island is the best choice to replace retiring Justice Tom Chambers, who has served on the court since 2000.

Like Chambers, McCloud is a trial attorney. She has long experience representing people in appellate trials, appearing many times in front of the state’s highest court, including civil rights and death penalty cases. She knows the state constitution and the law thoroughly and is rated highly by the major bar associations.

She has a record of defending people’s rights, and a calm judicial manner. At 56, she is young enough to serve three six-year terms before reaching the high court’s mandatory retirement age of 75.

Her opponent, Richard Sanders, , lost his seat on the court in 2010 after a 15-year run as its chief dissenter. Sanders was a champion of the individual against government on such issues as free speech, public disclosure, privacy, ballot measures and property rights.

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Sanders could be injudicious and intemperate, such as in 2008, when he stood up in an audience of the Federalist Society and shouted “Tyrant!” at U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Sanders has been retired, and should accept it. It is time for voters to choose someone else.

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