It's 106 miles to Sacramento, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

This is more than a bit frightening:

A group of conservative attorneys say they are on a mission from God to unseat four California judges...[v]owing to be God's ambassadors on the bench, the four San Diego Superior Court candidates are backed by pastors, gun enthusiasts, and opponents of abortion and same-sex marriages.

"We believe our country is under assault and needs Christian values," said Craig Candelore, a family law attorney who is one of the group's candidates. "Unfortunately, God has called upon us to do this only with the judiciary."

...Critics say the campaign is aimed at packing the courts with judges who adhere to the religious right's moral agenda and threatens both the impartiality of the court system and the separation of church and state.

"Any organization that wants judges to subscribe to a certain political party or certain value system or certain way of ruling to me threatens the independence of the judiciary," San Diego County's District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.

"Judges should be evaluated based on their qualifications and their duty to follow the law."

The Better Courts Now candidates accused the bar of being swayed by politics. Candelore said a victory would mark only the beginning: "If we can take our judiciary, we can take our legislature and our executive branch."

Let's review where we're at. If you're a judge that follows precedent in coming to a decision that angers the right-wingers, you're an activist judge. But if you're running for a judgeship on the platform of restoring a religion's value to the bench - and eventually to the other branches of government - well then you're just doing the work of God.

Incidentally, the San Diego County Bar rated the group's candidates as "lacking some or all of the qualities of professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function in a satisfactory mode." Substitute the word "judicial" with leglislative or executive, and I think you'd describe about 90% of all republican candidates.

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