Campaign to Recall Judge in Stanford Sexual Assault Case Morphs into Culture War

Judge Persky faces an uphill battle to keep his seat in what may become the state’s first judicial recall in 86 years.

On paper, the three dozen pages laying out Santa Clara County’s recall election process cram in enough jargon, flow charts and appendices to make most eyes glaze over.

Throw in one of the most high-profile sexual assault cases in California history and the #MeToo juggernaut, though, and the campaign to recall Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky has become a well-funded referendum on sexual misconduct in modern society.

Whether that’s fair—not to mention whether voters actually understand how the June 5 election to determine the fate of Persky and two potential female successors will work—is a much bigger question with implications for courts both inside and outside the county.

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