Still on the bench, suckas.
  • Still on the bench, suckas.

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No, no.

Justice Sanders, who began sitting on the Washington State Supreme Court back in 1995 and was narrowly defeated at the polls last year, is still at the high court issuing rulings—including a majority ruling he just authored in a nearly two-year-old case that was decided today.

It's called serving pro tem, and it is, in fact, a legit practice. (It makes a certain sense to have defeated justices seeing through cases they heard arguments about during their terms.)

But, also, as you can guess from the Latin, the idea is that pro tem appointments are temporary appointments. And here we are half way through the year after Justice Sanders lost his seat—and he's still, in a sense, in that seat.

Here's how this happened: Justice Sanders's first pro tem gig at the high court ended on March 11. He was being paid for that one. Since he didn't finish seeing through all the cases on his list before his first pro tem term ended, he's been asked to stay on for another pro tem term—this time unpaid—to finish ruling on the rest of his cases. Which means he'll be working the levers of justice for some time to come, even if it means doing it for free.

A list of the cases that Justice Sanders is still working on—involving parties like Rob McKenna, the City of Seattle, and Peter Goldmark—is in the jump: