Sanders' special interest is the Washington Constitution, and says his favorite provision is the role of government to protect and maintain individual rights. University of Washington affiliate law professor Hugh Spitzer said that Sanders “is perhaps the deepest thinker on his court” and “one of the brightest thinkers of that court.” Sanders wrote more than twice as many dissents as any of the other justices in 2009, standing up for principles rather than compromising. Sanders even dissented from one of his own opinions, after the Ninth Circuit came to a different conclusion on a separate case.
Sanders is a principled constitutionalist. He upheld religious freedom in his majority opinion Maylon v. Pierce, ruling that volunteer chaplains for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department do not violate the religious establishment clause. He has railed against “political correctness” in both his court opinions and previous writing for the University of Washington student newspaper The Daily while a law student. Sanders voted 90 percent of the time for lesser or no sanctions against attorneys who came before the court on disciplinary proceedings. It is common knowledge that there is a systemic problem nationwide of state bar associations and disciplinary judges throwing the book at right-leaning attorneys and judges.
A libertarian, Sanders is also known for his pro-criminal defense decisions. This has alienated most prosecutors from supporting him and likely costs him some support from conservatives. Sanders tends to look out for the underdog and perceives his views on criminal issues as consistent with his libertarian philosophy.
The Supreme Court has shifted to the left since Sanders lost reelection, with only one conservative left, Jim Johnson. Without Sanders, the court voted 5-4 to strike down an initiative against red light cameras. Sanders said, “Had I been on the court it would have been 5-4 the other way.”
Sanders is endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul, Attorney General Rob McKenna, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, both the Washington State Republican and Libertarian Parties, Gun Owners Action League, the National Rifle Association, property rights organizations, and pro-life and Christian organizations. The Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights has rated him outstanding. Outgoing Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers endorsed Sanders over the other three candidates vying for his seat. The liberal King County Bar Association predictably rated him the lowest of the four candidates, evidence of their bias against those on the right.
Sanders will likely face off in the general election against Sheryl Gordon McCloud, who is described by the Tacoma News Tribune as “a fiery liberal.” McCloud, a criminal defense attorney, has been endorsed by the National Abortion Rights Action League, unions, Democrat clubs, an executive director from the radical Latino organization El Centro De La Raza and numerous criminal defense attorneys.
Those on the left and their friends in the liberal media continue repeating the same three smear stories about Sanders. When will voters wake up and realize that they are being fed what the media wants them to be fed? Stories endlessly repeated should be a warning sign to the public that they are being propagandized. Voters should ask why the media is pushing certain information and wonder what they are not telling us. Half-truths and innuendoes are no way to decide elections. Former Democrat State Senator and Supreme Court justice Phil Talmadge said about Sanders, “I don’t think we’d want a Supreme Court of nine Richard Sanders, but it’s healthy to have someone there who will be very careful on actions by government, and that is why I have endorsed him.”