Politics & Government

Washington State justice says he taunted Mukasey at speech

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders acknowledged Tuesday that he shouted "Tyrant! You are a tyrant!" during a speech by the nation's attorney general last week.

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed about 15 minutes later as he addressed the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C. The incident made headlines that initially overshadowed a controversy about who had heckled him as he defended the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies.

Sanders said Tuesday: "It kind of irked me that this is making fun of the Geneva Conventions. … To make a joke about it, when we're a signator to this convention which prohibits torture."

He denies that he "heckled" Mukasey, who appeared unfazed by the outburst and was released from a hospital Friday in good health.

When questions arose about the shouting, Sanders initially avoided answering directly. He said Monday that he wasn't around when Mukasey collapsed, but he wouldn't comment on Internet articles naming him as the heckler.

By late Tuesday afternoon, Sanders had drafted a statement. Asked why he took so long to clarify what had happened, he told The Olympian, "I thought it through. I think that it's best that all the facts be there, and there's no reason not to lay it all out."

Some, including Wall Street Journal opinion writer James Taranto, suggested that Sanders' outburst might have violated the code of conduct for judges.

Read the full story at theolympian.com.