Vance Day’s candidacy is historic because, if elected, he would be the only “strict constructionist” on the Oregon Court of Appeals
REDMOND, OREGON — If there’s one word that describes the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, it’s historic. From the candidate herself to the president who nominated her, to outlets as diverse as The New York Times and Fox News, all have seized on her nomination as historic.
But there is another race — much closer to home — that is profoundly significant to Oregonians. That race is the May 17, 2022, election for Position 3 on the Oregon Court of Appeals, a statewide, nonpartisan position. Competing in the race are Vance Day, a sixth-generation descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, born and raised in the Willamette Valley, and Darleen Ortega, the 19-year incumbent.
Darleen Ortega’s candidacy is historic because even before running for reelection, she has already served ten years longer than any other judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals. When Judge Ortega began serving, the Iraq War had just started, iTunes had just launched, and “Finding Nemo” was the top-grossing movie. A lot has changed since then, but what hasn’t changed is Darleen Ortega on the Oregon Court of Appeals. Positions on the Court of Appeals were never meant to be lifetime, tenured positions, but all-too-often they turn out that way.
Here’s why: judicial races are “down-ballot,” meaning they come toward the end of a long list of other races, initiatives, and propositions on the ballot. Furthermore, because the race is nonpartisan, the only thing (other than their name) that distinguishes one candidate from another on the ballot is whether they are an incumbent. As Judge Ortega seeks to extend her historic tenure, it’s pretty clear that being an incumbent has afforded her a significant advantage.
But there’s another historic angle to the race.
Democracy relies firmly upon the proposition that, in a diverse, free marketplace of ideas, voters get to seek out and reward the best ideas to serve them in public office. Unfortunately, there is a remarkable lack of diversity on the Court of Appeals regarding judicial philosophy. Vance Day’s candidacy is historic because, if elected, he would be the only “strict constructionist” on the Court of Appeals. Like the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Strict constructionists believe that judges should be faithful to the Constitution and laws as written and apply them. Vance is running because he believes diversity of perspectives will strengthen the Court of Appeals — and that the Court of Appeals desperately needs it, or he explains it:
“I’m not running against Darleen Ortega. I’m running for Appeals Court Judge because I believe in equality, freedom, and the rule of law. I believe that our Constitution and laws must be applied as written. This is because the judiciary in our government of checks and balances is the last line of defense to protect the rights and freedoms of Americans from government overreach, but this can only happen if judges apply the law as opposed to make the law.”
ABOUT VANCE DAY FOR JUDGE
Vance Day is a candidate for Position 3 on the Oregon Court of Appeals, a statewide, nonpartisan position. The election will be held May 17, 2022.
Day is a sixth-generation descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, born and raised in the Willamette Valley. He graduated magna cum laude from Warner Pacific University and earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Willamette University College of Law in 1991. An accomplished trial lawyer, he has tried over 300 bench and jury trials. In addition, Vance served the State of Oregon for nearly four years as the Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party.
In 2011 Day was appointed to serve as a Circuit Court Judge and was elected to a full six-year term in Nov. 2012. In 2012, Judge Day started a veteran’s treatment court in Salem, Oregon, to target the root causes of veterans’ criminal behavior, such as homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse, by bringing together the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the judge, other veterans, treatment providers, mentors, and support teams to work together to help veterans make a fresh start. While Day was running the program, there was a zero-recidivism rate.
Upon completion of his term as a circuit court judge, Vance Day was recruited by the board of the Christian men’s ministry Promise Keepers to help rebuild the organization, eventually serving as president of the organization. Under his leadership, the organization was revitalized and now ministers to hundreds of thousands of men globally. Most recently, Day travels the length and breadth of Oregon on behalf of the James Madison Center for Free Speech, meeting with various organizations, churches, and community groups to discuss our constitutional liberties and how we can responsibly respond to government overreach.
For more information:
- Visit our website at TeamVanceDay.org
- To invite Vance Day to speak, contact Events@TeamVanceDay.org
- To get involved in Vance Day’s campaign, email: IAmIn@TeamVanceDay.org
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
April 1, 2021
CONTACT: Kevin Hoar, Communications Director
Media@TeamVanceDay.org | 541-714-3646