Vote “No” On Persky Recall

Voters will go to the polls in Santa Clara County today and vote on whether or not to recall Judge Aaron Persky. While most here aren’t from California and won’t get the chance to have their say, this vote reflects a cancer of lies that’s metastasized to make a bad system untenable.

This has nothing to do with the sentence Judge Persky imposed on Brock Turner, whether you think it was right, wrong or otherwise. I thought it too lenient, and said so, but so what? It was one sentence. That a judge doesn’t impose the sentence that I would have doesn’t make him a bad judge. Judges aren’t perfect, which is why we have appeals courts, but more to the point, a bad ruling doesn’t make a bad judge. And if one had to have a bad ruling, being too lenient is hardly the worst thing that could happen.

And indeed, Santa Clara prosecutors, defense lawyers, public defenders and fellow judges have all come out in support of Judge Persky as a smart, fair, honest judge. These are the people who know him, work with him, and have to live with his decisions. If they had a problem, this was the time to make it known. Instead, to a person, they backed him.

This has to do with a jihad by a law professor, who isn’t a lawyer, against Judge Persky. Michele Dauber, through a combination of dedicated hate, manipulation of ignorance and lies, some potential backroom shenanigans and playing to the emotions of race and pseudo-feminism, has managed to play upon the open wounds of the useful idiots to “get” this judge on behalf of her close friend, the victim in the Turner case.

I’ve written quite a bit about the case, and about Dauber, as this goes to one of the most disgraceful and dangerous things that have arisen over the past year. This vote pits the irrational mob against the system.

When I listened to co-founder of Black Lives Matter Alicia Garza speak at CEMEX Auditorium two weeks ago, mass incarceration was one of the core issues discussed. “We need to treat convicts as people, not problems,” she declared. Garza is one of many modern liberals to criticize the effects of “tough on crime” policies, especially mandatory minimum sentencing.

But does the left actually promote these policies? Just three months after Judge Aaron Persky ‘84 ruled on the Brock Turner case in June of 2016, the California legislature passed a mandatory minimums bill (without a dissenting vote!) for sexual assault cases.

The mob has no principles. The mob knows only that this person is bad and this person is good, based on whatever lies it’s fed by whoever is leading it at the moment, until they’re devoured by the mob. It’s not a question of being against mass incarceration, but merely changing who gets treated harshly. For Dauber, it’s nothing more than a personal war against Judge Persky and her calls for harshness are shams to conceal her personal hatred.

Michele Dauber, Stanford Law Professor and chief architect of the Recall Persky campaign, alleges that Persky has demonstrated systematic bias against women in multiple cases. However, the Associated Press, not exactly a bastion of conservatism, carefully reviewed each case involving sexual assault on which Persky has ruled. It found no evidence of bias. Moreover Persky, in People v. Turner, followed the sentencing recommendation from the Santa Clara County Probation Department, advice he has consistently adhered to in previous decisions.

Or to put it bluntly, Dauber is, and always has been, completely full of shit in her shameless lies about Judge Persky. Not that she cares. Nor, apparently, does Stanford Law School, which still employs her despite her flagrant intellectual dishonesty.

The gravamen of this recall election isn’t so much whether Judge Persky wins or loses, but that any judge who fails to make decisions that please the mob will be put through this wringer, will become the target of the angry and ignorant mob. It’s to manipulate the system to appease the mob or become its next target. There is only one message here: do as the mob demands or suffer.

This recall effort, however, takes place in a hyper-polarized political climate and poses a far greater threat to an independent judiciary than California retention elections or even past recalls. It has been presented as a dangerous binary based upon one decision, forcing voters to virtue-signal whether they “support rape culture” and belying the nuance of the issue. A recent message to one of my email lists asked, “Do you trust the privileged lawyers and judges that support Persky or do you side with the victims, activists, [and] feminists?”

This is the lie, tying an independent judiciary to “privilege” and the mob to “victims, activists, [and] feminists,” meaning harshness for whomever they despise. And there’s little question whom they despise. It’s not that they want to empty the prison cells, but rather fill them with their most hated defendants.

It’s not that the system is good, or that judges are the most wonderful players in the system. It’s that the system, twisted as it may be, remains better than mob rule. This is the question on the ballot in Santa Clara County today: do you want a legal system ruled by an angry and ignorant mob?

The mob knows no principles. It can’t be reformed or controlled. It will decide who it hates and who it loves and will demand that its lust for blood be sated or else. The mob must be crushed. Vote “no” on the recall. As bad as the system may be now, this is far, far worse.

29 thoughts on “Vote “No” On Persky Recall

  1. Richard Kopf


    Judge Persky is a Phi Beta graduate of Stanford with a Master’s degree from that institution. He got his law degree from Berkley. Persky received the California Association of Human Relations Organizations’ Civil Rights Leadership Award for work on hate crimes, and the State Bar of California’s Wiley Manuel Pro Bono Award for his pro bono work for the poor. He has served on the executive committee of the Support Network for Battered Women. After graduating from Stanford, Persky hiked from Palo Alto to Washington, D.C., to raise money for the Red Cross African Famine Relief Campaign. For four straight years, he participated in the California AIDS Ride, cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

    There is a real live human being behind the title, and dare I say of caricature of, “Judge Persky.” Will the people of Santa Clara County see that person? If they don’t, they richly deserve what they will get good and hard.

    All the best.


      1. Richard Kopf


        Sadly, I doubt it. Democracy is a wonderful thing until it isn’t.

        Hamilton in Federalist No. 78 took on the aptly named Brutus to explain why the mob should not control the judiciary. Too bad many states like California are like Brutus rather than Hamilton.

        All the best.


        1. SHG Post author

          At some point, I expect people to realize that we’re in the midst of mob rule and bring it to an end. I wonder which will be crushed first, the mob or my expectations?

          1. LocoYokel

            Oh you dear child. Would you like a lollipop to go along with those rainbows and unicorns?

            *Jumps with both feet on SHG’s expectations*

    1. Fubar

      Judge Persky is a Phi Beta graduate of Stanford with a Master’s degree from that institution.

      Now you’ve exposed a major sleeper issue underlying this misbegotten election.

      Of Judge Persky I’ll raise this alarm,
      Though he clearly intended no harm.
      Displaced Golden State Bears
      Can now vote their true cares:
      Persky shamelessly hails from The Farm!

  2. angrychiatty

    I apologize in advance if I am stating the obvious here. Whether he survives the recall vote is now irrelevant to the larger issue you have pointed out. The damage is done. For his sake I hope he wins. Even if he wins, no judge is going to want to go through this in the future and may be more likely to sentence more harshly accordingly. Great work guys. If there is one thing this country needs, its harsher jail sentences.

    1. B. McLeod

      I think the lesson for judges may be limited to “make sure you exact revenge for Michele Dauber’s floosie friends at every opportunity.”

  3. Justin

    I hope Persky is spared. That case was complicated anyway. I think the hard truth is that people don’t always feel sorry for the victim. The victim in this case got blackout drunk, hooked up with some dude who was also hammered, and decided to go off with him. At some point she fainted and he was caught with her. So because she was so traumatized by this — even though she didn’t even remember leaving he party, so she doesn’t know whether or not she consented to anything — he’s supposed to get the chair? The probation officer recommended six months, but that’s rarely mentioned.

    1. SHG Post author

      It’s about Persky, but it’s about far more than Persky. Even if he’s spared, the message has been made clear. No judge wants to be Persky’d.

      1. Christenson

        are you trying to invent a new word??? To “Persky” someone, like in the french terror that followed 1789???

      2. B. McLeod

        I think he was actually Dauber’d. In the future, she will probably announce her smear campaigns with a paraphrase from Ben Grimm: “OK, punk, it’s Dauber’n time!”

          1. Fubar

            Maybe Darwin would say that in Nebraska. But just across your southern border he would be sent to The Farm.

            You Admirals should be alert for invasion.

  4. B. McLeod

    Even post-recall, the misinformation mill continues to run full bore. USA Today’s headline refers to Persky as the judge in the “Stanford Rape Case” while the ABA Journal headline blares of “Stanford Athlete’s Rape Sentence.”

    Disgraceful, irresponsible and unprofessional, in light of the fact that no rape charges were tried in the case and the further (consequent) fact that the defendant’s sentence cannot have been a “rape sentence.” It is this kind of deliberate false reporting that gives credence to allegations of “fake news.”

    1. SHG Post author

      I made that point to the twitters, today, as every useful idiot kept referring to rape, even though he wasn’t convicted of rape. But media has no excuse.

      1. Pseudonymouskid

        The nuances are for lawyers only. Pierce a woman against her consent and that’s rape enough for the groundlings. I don’t think the nomenclature really matters much. Damn dictionaries.

  5. Dan

    Early afternoon Eastern time on Tuesday NPR gave Dauber some love, with an interview and a very sympathetic reading. Nauseating.

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