Chief Justice Barbara Madsen
Barbara A. Madsen was popularly elected to the Washington State Supreme Court in 1992 and sworn into office on January 11, 1993. She was re-elected in 1998, 2004, and 2010. In 2009, she was unanimously elected by her peers to serve as the 55th Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court and re-elected to a second term as Chief Justice in 2012.
A native of Renton, Washington, Barbara grew up in unincorporated King County with four brothers and graduated from Hazen High School. After graduating from the University of Washington and Gonzaga School of Law, Justice Madsen worked as a public defender in King and Snohomish counties. From her earliest years, Barbara cared deeply about marginalized people in her community. As a public defender, she worked with many clients who were in desperate need of housing or other social services, but lacked the skill to access the system. This kindled her passion for making the justice system more accessible for all.
In 1982, she joined the Seattle City Attorney’s Office where her common sense approach earned her the appointment as Special Prosecutor. There she developed the child abuse component of the City of Seattle Family Violence Project – the first in Washington State.
In 1988 Mayor Charles Royer appointed Chief Justice Madsen to the Seattle Municipal Court bench. She was the first person to ever serve two consecutive terms in that role. Her concern for victims of violence and their families continued as the Presiding Judge when she worked toward the development of a Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee.
In 1992 she was elected to the Washington Supreme Court. She has served as Chair of all of the court's administrative committees including budget, rules, personnel, and executive. In addition, since 1998, Barbara has chaired the Supreme Court's Gender and Justice Commission which was created to address gender disparities in the court system.
As Chief Justice, Barbara is the spokesperson for the Supreme Court and presides over court proceedings and court administration.
Barbara and her husband Donald live in Pierce County where they raised four children: Sam, Hillary, Eleanor and Beau. In 2008, son-in-law Rob joined the family through marriage to Hillary. Their youngest child, Beau, recently graduated from the University of Washington.
Please take a moment to listen to Barbara's video voter statement:
Paid for by Committee to Re-Elect Barbara Madsen
6963 Littlerock Road SW, Tumwater, WA 98512