"Judicial recalls over a single ruling threaten our independent judiciary and set a dangerous precedent."

LaDoris H. Cordell   |  Civil rights leader and retired Judge


No Recall 2018 -
Judge Aaron Persky


Top 5 Reasons to Vote NO RECALL:

  1. Firing (or recalling) a judge for applying the law threatens the independence of our judiciary branch. It sends a message that judges must immediately do what a well-funded campaign or a vocal group wants them to do rather than what is called for under the law. VOTE NO RECALL.

  2. Judges apply the law, they do not create it. This recall seeks to fire a judge for doing his job according to his discretion. VOTE NO RECALL.

  3. The recall will deepen injustice against poor people and people of color because judges will be pressured to be harsher with everyone. Without a judge’s discretion, we are left with “one-size-fits-all” justice in a system that has never favored poor people or people of color. VOTE NO RECALL.
  4. Firing one judge will not solve complex problems in our society. We need greater protections for survivors that challenge outdated laws, eliminate unethical legal practices, and empower survivors with more resources and support. VOTE NO RECALL.
  5. The California Commission on Judicial Performance thoroughly evaluated the charges against Judge Persky made by the million-dollar recall campaign mounted against him. The Commission found them to be wrong and recognized that he is a judge who follows the law. VOTE NO RECALL.


"Recalls should be reserved for judges who have a pattern of bias or misconduct. Judge Persky has neither."

LaDoris H. Cordell   |  Civil rights leader and retired Judge


Our Coalition

We are leaders in social, gender and racial justice; survivors of sexual assault; feminists; the Santa Clara County Bar Association; more than 90 law professors in California; the last three elected district attorneys in Santa Clara County; the Santa Clara County Public Defender; three retired federal district court judges (Hon. Thelton E. Henderson, Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, Hon. Nancy Gertner); five retired California Supreme Court Justices; over 200 current and retired California Superior Court Judges; four current and retired deans of prominent Bay Area Law Schools; criminal justice reformer Raj Jayadev; Jessica Jackson Sloan (co-founder with Van Jones of #cut50), and many others. 


"In too many states, judicial elections are becoming political prizefights where partisans and special interests seek to install judges who will answer to them instead of the law and the Constitution."

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Foreword, Brennan Center for Justice Report, "The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2000-2009: A Decade of Change" (2010)

NO RECALL of Judge Persky believes in the promise of an independent judiciary. We are students and professors, entrepreneurs and neighbors, sitting and retired judges. We, along with tens of thousands of others in Santa Clara County, plan to vote NO RECALL of Judge Persky in the county election to be held on June 5.


Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I vote NO to this recall?  

The last judicial recall in California was 86 years ago.  Judicial recalls are rare for a reason:  judicial independence is fundamental to our democracy. Recalls are meant for outlier situations such as misconduct and incompetence, not as punishment for decisions that are controversial but lawful.  Controversial rulings have helped to desegregate our schools, defend marriage equality, protect immigration and voting rights, and protect minority groups from discrimination.  Judges are not meant to bend to majority pressure.


What does the recall have to do with mass incarceration and racial justice? 

Racial disparities in our criminal justice system—systemic, unconscious, and even conscious—are rampant. Countless studies show racial disparities when it comes to who is policed, investigated, charged, convicted, and sentenced. Criminal justice experts agree: People of color and low-income people of all backgrounds will pay the price for misdirected outrage. They will be the ones to serve longer sentences.  


Is this recall “just an early election”?

No. A recall is not “just an early election” as some say. A recall is an extreme step that interrupts a six-year term of office to which a judge has been elected by county voters. Judge Persky won popular election to a six-year term in 2016. Claims of bias in his rulings have been definitively refuted by the California Commission on Judicial Performance.


I want to send a clear message against rape and rape culture. Won’t this help? 

No. Ending rape is critically important, but recalling this judge will not accomplish this. Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen did not appeal Judge Persky’s sentence in the Brock Turner case, and acknowledged: “the problem was with the law, not the judge.” In fact, the law at issue was changed.  Let’s work together on effective solutions. 


About Judge Aaron M. Persky - No Recall 2018

Judge Aaron Persky has served on the Santa Clara County Superior Court for 14 years, earning a reputation as a fair jurist who follows the law. His service includes the Executive Committee of the Support for Battered Women and the Santa Clara County Network for a Hate-Free Community. He received the Civil Rights Leadership Award for Work on Hate Crimes and the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services.  Before he was a judge, he was a deputy district attorney prosecuting sex crimes and domestic violence cases in the County. Judge Persky has attracted the media's attention as the judge on the Brock Turner case.

Read our Press Release here.