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Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Locke urges judges to take pledge to be sober in public

By The Associated Press

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BLAINE — Gov. Gary Locke, in a valedictory to the judiciary, yesterday urged judges to take the pledge against drinking in public — or at least to hold themselves to a single drink.

Locke advocated a "stringent and even harsh standard of conduct," which he said could apply to all elected officials, as part of his prescription for building public confidence in the courts.

Locke, a Democrat leaving office after eight years, spoke at the state Superior Court Judges Association, gathered for a four-day conference at Semiahmoo Resort. In the audience was Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge, who received deferred prosecution and treatment after an arrest for drunken driving last year. She wasn't mentioned by name by the governor, an old friend who appointed her to the bench.

"I couldn't agree more," Bridge told The Associated Press after Locke's speech.

Locke delivered a free-ranging speech that also jabbed at the U.S. Supreme Court for placing George Bush in office and said the federal Patriot Act reminded the governor of the internment of the Japanese during World War II.

Locke said he didn't intend to embarrass Bridge, whom he highly regards.

Bridge said she took no offense and is working hard to make amends for her behavior. She gives speeches about the effects of drunken driving.


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