Former Justice Goodloe Dies -- Jurist Championed Conservative Causes
Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Former state Supreme Court Justice William Goodloe, an outspoken conservative and self-styled patriot, has died after a lengthy bout with cancer.
Family members said Mr. Goodloe died at his Seattle home on Saturday of a rare form of liver cancer. He was 77. At his request, there will be no services.
Mr. Goodloe resigned from the Supreme Court in 1988 after serving four years of a six-year term. He later became better known for his controversial campaign against condom distribution in public schools, for his "Great American" lectures profiling presidents, and for his conservative newsletter, the "Goodloe Report," which took shots at politicians, judges and the media.
"Bill was his own man when it came to politics. He really charted his own course," said Robert Utter, his former colleague on the Supreme Court.
A 1948 graduate of the University of Washington Law School, Mr. Goodloe was in private practice in Seattle for 24 years. He served in
the state Senate from 1951 to 1959, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, and then headed the 1962 Seattle World's Fair committee.
Mr. Goodloe served as a King County Superior Court judge for 12 years. "He was very proud of his work as a trial judge. . . . He felt he had a very strong sense of justice, which is probably correct," said Utter.
During his four years on the Supreme Court, Utter said, Mr. Goodloe wrote the majority opinion recognizing the state's right to set limits in criminal cases involving search and seizure.
Mr. Goodloe resigned before the end of his first term because he thought he could reach more people through his newsletter than through his largely unnoticed dissenting court opinions, he said at the time.
Mr. Goodloe was an ardent Republican, serving as state party chairman from 1960 to 1962. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1988, then established the Washington Taxpayers party in 1991 to run again for the Senate. In 1993, he ran for mayor of Seattle.
His campaign against sex education and condom distribution in the schools was high profile. He cited the school activities as a sign of declining morality, placed a newspaper ad criticizing the curriculum and filed an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to stop the Seattle School District's condom-distribution plan.
Mr. Goodloe was born in Lexington, Ky. His maternal grandfather was John L. Wilson, U.S. senator from Washington; his paternal grandfather was William Cassius Goodloe, U.S. ambassador to Belgium. He grew up mostly in Pasadena, Calif.
During World War II, he served five years in the Navy.
Mr. Goodloe's son, Gerald, of Snohomish, remembers his father as a very fair and supportive parent.
"No matter what happened, he was always there for us," said Gerald Goodloe. "He was accepting of our lifestyle and what we wanted to do in life. He didn't try to make us into what he wanted us to be."
Some of his son's fondest memories were cruising each summer through the San Juan Islands in the 36-foot family yacht, the "Susie."
Gerald Goodloe said his outspoken father was often misunderstood. "He was always accepting of those who wanted to talk with him," his son said. "He didn't condemn anyone. He just wanted to point people in what he felt was the best direction."
Besides Gerald, Mr. Goodloe is survived by his wife, Phyllis Ruth, of Seattle; and his children Cassius, of Tempe, Ariz.; Gwendolyn Smith, of Stanwood; Richard, of Snohomish; David, of Edmonds; Mary Pahlman, of Richmond Beach; and Janette Goodloe, of Lynnwood.
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