SAN DIEGO -- As voters begin to make their selections for the upcoming Primary Election on June 5, many find themselves baffled at some of the choices once they get past the more high profile races, such as Congress, San Diego mayor and City Council.
It is important to note, however, that races for Superior Court Judge seats are just as important as the others and candidates like George Schaefer, who is running for Seat 25, hope that voters will seriously consider his campaign.
Schaefer, who has been endorsed by the San Diego Democrats For Equality and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, says that it is important for voters to pay attention to the judicial races to ensure that judges who are elected are competent and committed to rendering fair and impartial justice.
"Judicial decisions can have a major impact not only on the litigants, but the public," Schaefer told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. "We depend on judges to follow the law and uphold important state and federal constitutional rights."
Serving as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, Schaefer is assigned to the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Division and handles major civil cases, and has worked on high-profile issues like the city’s successful defense in the federal Mt. Soledad case and the La Jolla Children’s Pool case. Last year Schaefer successfully defended the city in a two-week federal jury trial and in a five-week state jury trial. In both cases, San Diego employees claimed unlawful discrimination.
Before becoming a Deputy City Attorney, Schaefer ran a private law practice for over 17 years. Prior to his private practice, he was an Assistant Public Defender and District Attorney in other jurisdictions. In addition to handling several death penalty cases, Schaefer’s prosecution and criminal defense work includes murder, rape, and child sexual abuse cases.
Schaefer commenced his legal career by serving a year as a Volunteer In Service to America (“VISTA”) attorney, primarily representing indigent clients with family law matters.
Participating in 112 jury trials throughout his career, Schaefer says that it is his diversity of experience that distinguishes him from the two other candidates in the field. His two opponents, Schaefer says, have limited civil litigation and criminal defense experience, an important skill set to have for the job.
“Citizens are entitled to equal justice under the law and a strong, independent judiciary,” Schaefer said. “The reason I am running for judge is that I am committed to these fundamental principles of justice.”
Schaefer says that Superior Court judges render judicial decisions every day that affect people's lives and property, and he is committed to being a fair player in this process.
“Less than 10% of those decisions are reversed on appeal,” Schaefer said. “For that reason, a Superior Court's decision is usually the final word on the matter in dispute.
“Citizens should care about who is entrusted to make judicial decisions -- we need judges who will consider the merits of each case without any bias, and then make an informed and sound judgment applying the facts to the law. Judges are public servants in whom we place our trust to make the right and fair decisions.”
The San Diego County Bar Association, which rates the candidates in judicial ratings, gave the openly gay Schaefer its highest ranking of “Well Qualified.”
For more information about George Schaefer and his campaign for San Diego County Superior Court Judge Seat 25, click HERE.