2008: A Moxley Confidential column reports on Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson opining that if a victim's vagina hadn't been "shredded" during a sexual assault then the woman gave at least partial consent to her attacker.
2012: R. Scott Moxley's scoop results in the California Commission on Judicial Ethics publicly admonishing the judge, who ever since has been relegated to mostly minor cases.
2014: Johnson's self inflicted mouth rape brings a serious challenge to his seat on the bench.
But don't blame challenger Helen Hayden for the lag time: June 3, 2014, is the first time anyone, including the Laguna Beach lawyer, has had the opportunity to run against Judge Johnson since he made the remarks.
Hayden claims she only threw her hat in the ring because no one else had. Let me repeat that: No one was set to challenge a judge who had been publicly admonished for saying things like the rape victim did not suffer serious enough injuries to suggest she actually put up a fight, and that if she truly did not want it her body would have shut down and not allowed sexual intercourse.
After having put her name in as a placeholder for the six-year term–and then seeing no other challengers–Hayden thought some more about it and the mindset of a judge that would think, let alone say such things. That's when she decided to actually take a serious run at Johnson, who was appointed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2000.
By the way, who says Orange County politics are not screwed up? Besides the state panel overseeing judges, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas blasted Johnson for his comments. So who has T-Rack endorsed in the race? Drum roll, please … Johnson!
It's not even like Rackauckas is sticking by a member of his own Republican Party, as he is, say, with Board of Equalization candidate Diane Harkey, the termed-out Dana Point assemblywoman whose husband burned elderly investors, some of their life savings. Judge Johnson is a Democrat. Hayden is a Republican.
That certainly caught the attention of the Orange County Register, which followed up on a report on the race with an endorsement of Hayden. But it is perhaps The Orange Juice Blog's Daniel Lamb who put it best:
It has been noted that the media omitted the fact that Judge Johnson is a Democrat. Despite his comments on rape, the local Democrats indeed appear more than willing to allow the judge to remain on the bench. It is not Johnson, but the Democrats [who] want you to believe it is Republican Helen Hayden waging a "War on Women." Groups, such as the Laguna Woods Democratic Party, have shunned Ms. Hayden upon learning of her party identification. Not a single women's group responded when Ms. Hayden reached-out to promote her campaign. Their tacit support of Judge Johnson, along with that of the local Democrats, reveals the sad irony behind the "War on Women." While shunning a "more-than-capable successor," the Democrats and the establishment are aligned with a universally condemned form of official sexism.
Like the fellow in the peanut gallery said earlier, this county's politics are all screwed up.