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    Good news from the federal courts, local political scene

    Can you stand some good tidings about a new Federal Judge? How about some great new opportunities for pro-family candidates in San Diego County?

    I thought so. Good news is always welcome!

    New Federal Judges:

    Silent majority is heard

    A few months ago I described the vindication of Betty Lou Batey, a Christian parent whose son was taken from her in 1987 by the courts. The judge in question, Judith McConnell, was later nominated for promotion to a Federal judgeship by U.S. Senator Boxer, but pro-family protests led by Concerned Women of America defeated the nomination. Boxer then reluctantly nominated a Reagan-era Federal prosecutor (Barry Ted Moskowitz) who was confirmed. One of his first rulings upheld the right of Christians Lynn McIntire and Marian Springfield to pass out evangelical literature at Lindbergh Field, despite Port District objections.

    It’s like deja vous all over again, Proving that some people never learn, Senator Dianne Feinstein then nominated longtime liberal activist and campaign donor Murray Galinson to a second vacant Federal judgeship in San Diego.

    This nomination took flak from non-political legal sources who questioned whether someone who had never been a judge — and devoted much of his recent career to a banking concern — was the right man for the Federal courts.

    After a year of delays and skepticism by Senate Republicans, Galinson withdrew his name from consideration. Feinstein then nominated the original first choice of her local screen committee, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey T. Miller. Who is Jeffrey T. Miller?

    Conservative Governor George Deukmejian appointed Miller to the County courts in 1987. In 1989, Judge Miller ruled in a high-profile case involving a gay bar in Escondido, which had been denied a permit for on-premise dancing by local officials. The late Thomas Homann, local top gun of liberal civil rights attorneys, rushed to the Vista courthouse seeking to overturn Escondido’s decision.

    Judge Miller instead upheld Escondido’s ordinance and decision as constitutional and fair. On May 23, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Judge Miller’s nomination to be a Federal District Judge in San Diego. Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch and other conservative Senators had no problem with a nominee like this!

    Does it matter when Believers speak out for what is right and true in the political realm? Well, would you rather have Judith McConnell and Murray Galinson ruling on your rights, or would you prefer Jeffrey Miller and Barry Ted Moskowitz? I thought so. This is another example of our political efforts eventually bringing a harvest.

    By coincidence, the author of this article served on a jury in Judge Miller’s court earlier this year. He is a model of organization, self-discipline and fair-mindedness. His elevation to the Federal bench should be a cause for real celebration.

    Meanwhile, in the State Legislature:

    Term limits continue to bring blessings to the local scene. State Senator Bill Craven will retire next year, and his almost certain successor is Assemblyman Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside), a real champion for pro-family causes in the lower house of the state Legislature. He is energetic, principled and significantly more interested in, and more conservative on, social issues than Senator Craven.

    Morrow’s elevation to the State Senate, meanwhile, will leave an opening in his 73rd District Assembly seat, covering southern Orange County as well as Oceanside, the northern half of Carlsbad and Camp Pendleton.

    The early leader here is Jim Lacy, a Reagan and Bush Administration official who cut his political teeth as one of Howard Jarvis’ key lieutenants in the historic Proposition 13 property tax reform in 1978. He has already been endorsed by Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, State Senator Ray Haynes, along with Lt. Col. Oliver North (USMC, ret.). Lacy filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Bill Morrow and other conservative legislators in the successful defense of a State law which cracks down on display of near-pornographic “newspapers” in curbside newsracks.

    That’s it for this month. If you have a political story or tip to pass along, write to me c/o Good News, Etc..

    James E. Sills, Jr., a native San Diegan, is a political and research consultant with clients in California, Arizona and Washington. He was chief aide to County Supervisor Paul Fordem and City Councilman Bruce Henderson.

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