Linder: First Woman Elected to Supreme Court

This past election was a good one for women, and not just in the US House of Representatives.  In Oregon, another woman made history yesterday:Linder_1

When Virginia Linder of Salem formally joined the Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday, she made history.

She is the first woman that voters have elected directly to the state's highest court. She finished second in a three-way primary, then won the Nov. 7 general election against Jack Roberts of Eugene, a two-term state labor commissioner who had run statewide two other times....

Linder, 53, started her six-year term in Position 6 on Tuesday. She succeeded Wallace Carson Jr. of Salem, who retired.

Four other women have served on the Oregon Supreme Court, but all were appointees.  For Linder, breaking glass ceilings isn't new; she was also the first female solicitor general, who represents Oregon in state appellate and federal courts.  Linder also brings sexual diversity to the court:

After Linder took the oath from Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, she was helped into her judicial robe by her partner of 20 years, Colleen Sealock, a vice president of SAIF Corp., the state-owned provider of workers' compensation insurance.

The Oregon Supreme Court now counts one lesbian and one gay man among its seven members, although Linder's sexual orientation was not made an issue during the 2006 campaign.

Linder wrote Oregon's arguments in support of a U.S. Supreme Court case against Colorado's anti-gay rights ballot measure, which was similar to a couple of failed Oregon measures in 1992 and 1994. Kulongoski, who was attorney general at the time, said he thinks her arguments helped persuade the justices to back the Colorado courts in overturning the measure.


  • (Show?)

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone remember what the vote on gay marriage was by her predecessor?

  • (Show?)

    heh--nevermind. OSC opinions aren't broken down by how each justice decided. :)

  • politicallogic (unverified)

    OSC opinions aren't broken down by how each justice decided.

    Just another typical example of the low level of courage and integrity of the government we Oregonians create for ourselves.

  • (Show?)

    Actually, every Supreme Court decision records who partipated in the case and who dissented (if anyone). By process of elimination, everyone who participated and didn't dissent voted with the majority.

    Sometimes a justice will write a concurring opinion which may differ somewhat from the reasonign of the majority or lead opinion, and sometimes a justice may concur in part and dissent in part. In any event, the votes of the individual judges are ascertainable in each case.

    If by "the vote on gay marriage" Torridjoe is talking about Li v. State, which struck down the actions of the Multnomah County Commissioners in issuring marriage licenses to same sex couples, that decision was unanimous (including Justice Kistler, who is gay).

    No one should assume that justices vote their personal beliefs or self interest rather than honestly interpreting the law. Nor are they afraid to make their votes public.

    I suggest cynics look elsewhere for evidence to reinforce their negativity.

in the news 2007

connect with blueoregon