In our endorsement of Democrat Gray Styers for Court of Appeals judge, we misstated that his opponent, Republican Chris Dillon, had written a 2018 opinion upholding the Voter ID law.
This isn’t accurate: Dillon’s opinion, on behalf of the 2–1 Republican majority on the bench that upheld the controversial bill, was in 2020.
We stand by our characterization that this law leads to voter suppression, as courts have previously ruled that such requirements “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
Still, Dillon took issue with our write-up. We offered him the space to respond:
“I understand you can endorse whomever you think is best for the progressive cause. But I was disappointed in the factual error about some 2018 opinion I wrote favoring voter ID. I strive to approach my role as a judge in a non-partisan way, being one of a handful of judges still here who initially won a seat in a non-partisan election. I am endorsed by both sides of the aisle and the courtroom … by Democrat and Republican retired judges and by the Advocates for Justice and the Association of Defense Attorneys. In fact, I have voted three times to declare unconstitutional laws enacted by the GOP majority.
“Regarding my 2020 opinion, the issue was not about voter ID per se, as it had no effect on the stay our Court placed on the implementation of that law. Rather, the opinion only dealt with whether the 2018 General Assembly could continue acting as our legislative branch, and whether to pass a budget or submit amendments for the people’s consideration, something the federal courts even recognized it could do. I would have ruled the same way had the amendment at issue had been progressive in nature.”
We were also contacted by the Terence Priester campaign after the endorsements were released. The campaign stated: “Candidate Terence Priester is a pastor, and he believes that all people should have access to clean natural resources, regardless of what they choose to believe or practice. He has never made a statement regarding the LGBTQ community.”
It is accurate Priester did not make a statement to the INDY regarding the LGBTQ community. We made our judgment that he is “anti-LGBTQ” based on the statement on the “Our Beliefs” page of a church where he is listed as the founder and senior pastor.
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