Serving as yet another example of the importance of making informed decisions when choosing judges at the ballot box, a judge made an appalling racist statement during a speaking engagement at a law school. While delivering a lecture on mediation and negotiation at the University of Calgary, Justice Kristine Eidsvik told the class that she felt uncomfortable walking into a room “full of big dark people” during dispute resolutions and that she was used to being in an “ivory tower” where she was “removed from the riff raff.” Judge Eidsvik was serving as the school’s judge in residence for the academic year. She later apologized for her comments.
Judges have the power to profoundly shape the criminal justice system. Given that racial bias is an issue at various levels in the criminal justice system, it is imperative that voters choose candidates who value racial equity. Eidvik’s shockingly overt racism poses a serious threat to justice, and judges with ideas like this cannot be tolerated.