I guess everybody’s entitled to their opinions, but it seems a bit much to have Rep. Ray Cox evaluating decisions of the Appellate Court! It’s like Speaker Sviggum making pronouncements and threats about campaign law! …sigh…


About the decision that “lets politics into judge races” Ray says:

… I am not pleased with the idea of judges mounting big campaigns financed by a variety of sources and making all sorts of statements about what they would do or rule about particular issues.

I fear that wide-open judicial elections with full-blown campaigns, complete with political brochures, radio and television advertising and candidate forums, will work to lower judge elections to a couple of gut-level sound bites. I could envision judges running for office and being elected on a single issue, such as the death penalty, abortion, or other current ?hot button? issues.

First, I don’t think it would be nearly so binary as Ray paints it. Knowing the label can help because insight into someone’s leanings can be crucial in a case, but party affiliation is just one factor. For example, were I suing Ray’s Northfield Construction Company in Rice County District Court I’d rather know that Judge Johnson is Ray’s brother-in-law! Partisan labels and active campaigns may provide important philosophical information — but as I learned reviewing ballots in the 25B 2002 election recount, party designation doesn’t carry the meaning it did decades ago, and people are crossing party lines in all ways.

But what’s scary is that Ray displays ignorance of or total disregard for the partisan nature of judicial appointments. Earth to Mars, you say right here they’re appointed by THE GOVERNOR!!! Impartial???

I?ve said before that I think Minnesota has an excellent judiciary as well as a process for appointing judges to vacant positions. Our judge screening committee is fair and impartial. They forward names to the Governor to make a selection to fill a vacancy.

First the Roberts blog, now this… is Ray applying for a toadie spot, like Kennedy’s recent outstate campaign, to support Bush’s pick for the Supremes?


One Response to “Now Ray Cox is judging Judges!”

  1. Mike Bull Says:

    I’ve read and agree with Ray’s comments on this, that he posted on his blog. Seemed thoughtful and balanced to me, Carol.

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