Prop 8 Backers Seek to Take Control Of California Courts

Several Religious Right activists and California state legislators have unveiled a new effort to take control of the court system “across San Diego County and eventually America” via elections through a new organization called “Better Courts Now”, arguing that Proposition 8 would not have even been necessary if the state had the proper judges:

Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, and one of his predecessors from the 77th Assembly District are among those appearing in videos for a new Chula Vista-based group that is urging conservatives to elect local judges who value “life and traditional family.”

The website,, also includes testimonials from at least one person affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that has been in the center of political battles over gay marriage in California and around the country.

“It’s important that we unify our votes so we ensure that solid men and women of high morals, who will not legislate from the bench, are elected to office,” Anderson says in a 97-second video. Later he adds, “We are in full agreement that we need to get behind”

The group has promised to release a slate of candidates, but has not yet done so. Much of its focus seems to be on the San Diego area where it is based.

Anderson is probably the most recognizable person on the list. Other prominent people on video page include: Steve Baldwin, who held the AD 77 seat from 1995 through 2000; Ron Prentice, San Diego chairman for the Yes on 8 Campaign; Don Hamer, a prominent black pastor in San Diego; Dean Broyles, an attorney the Western Center for Law & Policy; Brian Jones, vice mayor of Santee; and Charles Li Mandri, west coast regional director of the Thomas More Law Center.

A less familiar name is Dr. Jennifer Morse, the founder and president of the Ruth Institute in San Marcos. The Institute’s website displays prominently that it is “A project of the National Organization for Marriage.”

Other videos feature John Woodrum, President of the Eagle Forum in San Diego, and Jim Garlow: