Wm. Christopher Penwell
Family: Married; three children.
Education: William Mitchell College of Law; University of Michigan.
Work experience: Twenty-five years as a trial attorney representing primarily small businesses and property owners. Litigated cases in state and federal courts across the country. Author of articles on wind turbines, non-compete agreements and the rights of property owners under the Fifth Amendment for the taking of their property by government over-regulation.
1. What makes you the best candidate?
No judge is a blank slate; it is not possible for judges to completely shed their values, beliefs and personal experiences when they put on the black robe. Add to that the power given to a district court judge and there is a strong tendency for ego to take over. Only by being anchored in the values and beliefs of our Founding Fathers can a judge maintain the humility to put aside personal and political bias, uphold the Constitution and apply the laws as written. Please consider my courtroom experience and commitment to these values when you vote.
2. How would you as a judge suggest the court system respond to limited or reduced state funding?
For 20 years I have been on my law firm’s management committee, which oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm. In that capacity I have been involved in setting annual budgets and reviewing monthly financials. It is not possible to give specifics in answer to this question without seeing the entire budget. However, my management experience has equipped me well to make difficult budgetary decisions.
3. Do you believe judicial candidates should be allowed to discuss political views and be involved in non-judicial politics?
All judicial candidates have political leanings, which do not disappear when they announce their candidacy. Their view, for example, of constitutional limits on government’s power is important information for voters. Recent federal court cases have ruled that my endorsement by the Republican Party is an exercise of my First Amendment right to provide voters with basic information about my values and beliefs. The absence of an endorsement is certainly no proof of a candidate’s impartiality. Voters are entitled to all the information they can get about a candidate so they can decide for themselves who will be fair and impartial.More from around the web