Some question racial comments by 2 Washington Supreme Court justices

The Seattle Times reports that two Washington Supreme Court justices made controversial comments about race during a recent court meeting.

Justices James Johnson and Richard Sanders both disputed the notion that racial bias plays any significant role in the legal system, and said the reason blacks are overrepresented in the prison population is because they commit more crimes.

Some participants at the Oct. 7 meeting in Olympia told the paper they were taken aback.

At the meeting, Johnson also used the term "poverty pimp," which generally refers to workers who supposedly provide legal services to the poor for their own gain.

Sanders, who is facing a re-election fight this fall, told the newspaper he stands by the comments, and noted that he has a reputation for siding with defendants. The Times said Johnson didn't respond to numerous messages.