California Today: California Today: 2 Views of the Judge Persky Recall


Dauber, writing via email: This is a historical moment in which women from across a broad cross-section of American life are standing up and refusing to continue with business as usual. I think that there is a broad recognition that the high rates of gender-based violence and sexual harassment that women experience are preventing women from achieving equality.

Cordell, speaking by phone: In my view, when Harvey Weinstein came along, the recall effort co-opted the MeToo conversation. It demonized this judge, who followed the law. It was a very dishonest campaign, and that worked. They said that he’s no better than a judge who engages in sexual assault and harassment. I had a law professor when we were first years who told us a good liar beats the system every time.

What do you think this recall represents?

Dauber: The recall, together with the recent Roy Moore Alabama Senate race, demonstrated that violence against women is a voting issue — alongside reproductive freedom. If candidates want the votes of women, they will have to take this issue seriously. If they do not, they will hear from women at the polls.

One of the most unfortunate results of that victim blaming is that women saw virtually the entire legal profession linking arms with a campaign that engaged in this conduct. To women, this reinforced the view that the legal profession itself — judges, lawyers, and court personnel — blame victims, excuse perpetrators, and do not take sexual assault seriously.