Life Issues / Family Ethics Political Action Committee of Southwest Washington

Susan Owens *

2006 Washington State Supreme Court Candidate

Position 2

Anti-Family Judicial Decisions

Candidate's Website 39% Judicial Forum Score 100% Naral Endorsement
Constitutional Law PAC Info Faith And Freedom's Judicial Voters Guide Family Research Council Action: Judicial Voter's Guide
Sound Politics Report    

Owens' Dissent from Pro Family Ruling Upholding Marriage Between One Man and One Woman

From Supreme Court Opinion:

File Date:           07/26/2006
Oral Argument Date:  03/08/2005


Authored by Tom Chambers
Concurring: Susan Owens

CHAMBERS, J. (concurring in dissent)  --  I fully endorse the views of
Justice Fairhurst in dissent.


Justice Susan Owens

Full opinion at:



Justice Owens' Anti Family Decision Regarding Parenthood

Supreme Court of the State of Washington

Opinion Information Sheet

Full opinion at:

Docket Number:       75626-1
Title of Case:       In re the Parentage of: L.B.;
                     Sue Ellen ("Mian") Carvin v. Page Britain
File Date:           11/03/2005
Oral Argument Date:  02/15/2005

                                SOURCE OF APPEAL
Appeal from Superior Court,
            Honorable Michael J Trickey

Authored by Bobbe J Bridge
Concurring: Barbara A. Madsen
            Charles W. Johnson
            Gerry L Alexander
            Susan Owens
            Tom Chambers
            Mary Fairhurst
Dissenting: James Johnson
            Richard B. Sanders

Lesbian’s Ex-Partner Declared “De-Facto Parent” by Washington State Court
Mother now married to child’s biological father must give previous lesbian partner access


By Terry Vanderheyden

OLYMPIA, Washington, November 4, 2005 ( – A Washington State Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday that the former lesbian partner of a child’s biological mother can be considered the “de facto parent” of the ten-year-old girl the mother conceived by artificial insemination. The girl’s mother, Page Britain, is now married to the girl’s biological father after separating from her lesbian lover.

Sue Ellen Carvin sued Britain in 2002 after she was denied visitation of the girl conceived in 1995. Chief Justice Bobbe J. Bridge, writing for the majority, said that “in the face of advancing technologies and evolving notions of what comprises a family unit, this case causes us to confront the manner in which our state . . . defines the terms ‘parents’ and ‘families.’” The ruling, approved by seven of nine Supreme Court judges, means that Carvin can now sue for custody and visitation rights.

“Imagine the Pandora's box that opens,” said one of Britain’s attorneys, Erica Krikorian, according to an AP report. “Anytime somebody comes along and cohabitates – in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship – all of a sudden, add water and you’re creating these rights. You have to be careful who you're letting your kids hang out with.” Britain’s attorneys are recommending an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Britain’s co-counsel, Brian Krikorian, said, “This decision puts every single parent on notice: Anytime you allow another adult to assist in raising your child, you could potentially be giving that person 50-percent authority over your child.”

Justice James Johnson, dissenting from the majority opinion, condemned the court for its “judicial decree” that brought in a new method for determining who a child’s parent is. “Regardless of the various sexual orientation claims, the outcome must be that a mother has a fundamental right to make decisions for her child,” he stated. “The majority’s ruling fails to provide any protection for Britain's fundamental constitutional right as a fit mother to make decisions concerning the upbringing of her own daughter. Worse, in my view, the majority here looks beyond a detailed and complete statutory scheme adopted by the Washington Legislature and creates by judicial decree a new method for determining parentage.”

Rev. Joseph Fuiten, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Network, a Washington group campaigning against legalization of same-sex “marriage,” condemned the ruling. “They’ve changed the definition of parents today; they'll change the definition of marriage tomorrow. Who do these people think they are?”


Constitutional Law PAC on Owens: Poor Judicial Philosophy

The CLPAC is a bi-partisan committee formed to work for the election of judges who believe in judicial restraint.

Full report at:


Sound Politics Report: Justice "No-Show" is a hypocrite
State Supreme Court News
by Stefan Sharkansky, 02:51 PM

As noted earlier, Justice Susan Owens chickened out of yesterday's debate with challenger Sen. Stephen Johnson with the excuse that one of the ideologically balanced duo of moderators (me) had donated to Sen. Johnson's campaign. But Justice Owens saw no conflict in the moderator's campaign contributions when she appeared at a judicial forum in Kitsap County last month:

Incumbents Gerry Alexander, Susan Owens and Tom Chambers and their respective opponents, John Groen, Stephen Johnson and Jeanette Burrage, answered questions put to them by moderator Charlie Wiggins, a Bainbridge Island lawyer and former appeals court judge.
Wiggins was the sole moderator. He had also donated $250 to Susan Owens and $700 to Gerry Alexander.



From the Primary Judicial Voter's Pamphlet:

Susan Owens
Supreme Court, Position 2
 EDUCATION: Graduate of Duke University, law school at University of North Carolina
OCCUPATION: State Supreme Court Justice
EMPLOYER: Washington State Supreme Court
LEGAL/JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: A judge for 25 years (Supreme Court for 6 years, after 19 years on the Clallam County District Court), Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens has served with integrity, independence and a commitment to your Constitutional rights. Justice Owens respects the law and your rights and privacy.
OPTIONAL INFORMATION: A rural judge known for balanced, common sense rulings, she earned a national reputation teaching judges how to enforce tough new domestic violence laws. Served on the Long Range Planning, Diversity, Conference, and Education committees. Daughter of a small town general practitioner and retired law enforcement officer, mother of two children.
Candidate Statement: I bring a different perspective to the Supreme Court. I’m a rural judge, mother and independent voice for common sense rulings that respect our rights, our privacy—and our Constitution. I believe in leadership, not partisanship. I have never held partisan office. With 25 years as a judge, I have been an independent voice dedicated to upholding the Constitution. Being a Justice is about integrity, independence, and your rights. With special interests spending big money to elect activist politicians to our court, we must retain strong, independent voices on the State Supreme Court. See for endorsements and more information.