The most disturbing thing from last night is that Justices Baker and Hart were in attendance. Goodson made a big to-do about introducing them at the beginning of her speech and thanking them for driving from Clinton and Mountain Home to be in attendance. They were not specifically invited to be there by the Inn. A slick way of implying that they endorse her candidacy.
Endorsements are not given in every race. Our endorsement is not given lightly; it is something that is reserved for those candidates who meet certain criteria and something that must be earned.
Sometimes we receive inquiries concerning judicial races. NRA-PVF generally does not issue endorsements in judicial elections. In the rare circumstances where NRA-PVF makes endorsements in state judicial races, there are many complexities that must be taken into account, including the following:
• Judges, unlike legislators, often do not have voting records. Therefore, in evaluating judicial candidates, NRA-PVF can only make evaluations based upon past legal opinions and public statements involving firearm-related issues;
• Individual states implement different codes of judicial conduct, and have often passed statutes limiting judicial candidates from announcing their views on issues or controversies that may come before the court, and;
• These codes or statutes may prevent judicial candidates from filling out NRA-PVF candidate questionnaires. Even if a candidate could fill out a questionnaire, and then got elected to the bench, the questionnaire answers might later force the judge to recuse him- or herself from a firearm-related case.
We certainly welcome input and information from our members on judicial candidates. It is important to remember, however, that NRA-PVF's involvement in judicial races remains the exception and not the rule