In 1913, businessman Albert Hendricks was caught trying to assault two 17-year-old girls, but he skipped town after San Francisco Judge Charles Weller reduced his bail from $3000 to $1000. Local women’s clubs led the effort to recall Judge Weller for “extending undue and unreasonable leniency to persons charged with the commission of heinous and vicious offenses.”
Weller’s was the first of only two successful judicial recalls in California’s history. Note that it did not lead to an onslaught of whimsical recalls, and it did not lead to substantial enough concerns about judicial independence for our constitutional right to recall judges to be revoked. It did, however, remove an elected official who had lost the faith of voters that he could fairly preside over sexual assault cases.
In that same vein, I will be voting to recall Judge Persky on June 5. I encourage my neighbors to do the same.
— Prameela Bartholomeusz, Palo Alto