SANTA CRUZ - Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced Tuesday that local court commissioner Stephen S. Siegel has been appointed a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge.With benefits, the salary is probably about $220,000.
Siegel, 63, has served as a commissioner since 2001. He lives in Eastside Santa Cruz. ...
Siegel has been hearing family law cases in Watsonville and said his assignment wouldn't change for now. He said he can hear any case if attorneys agree to it, but that now he will join a rotation to get calls from police needing search warrants.
Siegel said he sought the appointment in large part because he thought it would be better for someone with experience and a good relationship with others on the bench to fill the vacancy.
He fills a seat created by the 2010 retirement of Commissioner Irwin Joseph, whose seat was then converted to a judgeship. Court officials said they don't expect that Siegel's commissioner's position will be filled any time soon....
Siegel and Joseph were appointed commissioner in 2000. Both were described in a past Santa Cruz Sentinel story as loving golf and baseball and having married their high school sweethearts. Siegel once coached Santa Cruz High's mock trial team.
Other applicants for the judgeship included County Counsel Tamyra Rice, Public Defender Nancy de la Pena, Santa Cruz attorney Robert Patterson and San Jose appellate attorney Helen Williams.
The salary for the position is $178,789. The salary for a commissioner is $160,910.
Siegel and Joseph are both Jewish surnames. There is no reason a Jew cannot be a good judge if he follows the law, but the local family court judges do not follow the law. They apply their own personal anti-Christian prejudices, and tolerate unethical practices by lawyers and shrinks.
Funny that it says that Joseph "retired". He always wanted that judgeship, but was repeatedly passed over. I reported here that he was fired. Last I heard, he was a commissioner in the county over the hill.
Eugene Volokh writes:
Last year, I blogged about Moore v. Hoff, a Minnesota case in which a jury ordered a blogger to pay $60,000 to a university official because the blogger blogged the truth about the official, intending to get him fired. I am told that Monday morning, the Minnesota Court of Appeals will hand down a decision in the appeal of the verdict; I hope that it will reverse.If the Minnesota decision is upheld, Joseph might think that I owe him $60k. I did blog the truth about him, and I did hope that his superiors would stop him from carrying out his malicious personal vendettas from the court bench. And he was eventually removed. That just seems like American free speech for me to hold a public official accountable for the damage he was doing on the job.
Update: The Minnesota case was reversed. A victory for free speech.