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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Minnesota voters want say over judges

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19 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

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Majority concerned about politics but says elections important
BY BILL SALISBURY
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 01/28/2008 11:43:16 PM CST


Minnesota voters strongly support a proposal to reduce the politics in judicial elections, with three out of four expressing concern judges would have to raise special-interest money, run TV ads and seek political party backing to get elected, according to a survey to be released today.

The poll also shows Minnesotans favor a system where voters would periodically decide whether to keep or fire judges, rather than the current method that requires a challenger to step forward and run against a sitting judge.

"The critical finding is that Minnesota voters are becoming alarmed at the prospect that their judicial elections may start to look like those in Texas or Ohio, places where big money and special-interest groups dictate the tempo of elections, and the corrosive effects of fundraising and negative TV ads dominate court campaigns," Jesse Rutledge, deputy executive director of Justice at Stake, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that commissioned the poll, said Monday.

The organization is a coalition of 50 state and national legal and civic groups that works to keep courts fair, impartial and independent.

Decision Resources Ltd., a Minneapolis polling firm, surveyed 800 Minnesota adults Jan. 2-15. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

The survey is being released just weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to consider a constitutional amendment that would make judges subject to periodic "retention elections."

That system would avoid the expensive, partisan and negative judicial campaigns that are common in other states.
The change was proposed in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in what's known as the White case, which struck down Minnesota's strict limits on how candidates can campaign for judgeships.

In the poll, 78 percent of the respondents said they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned about judicial candidates having to raise more money, run TV ads or seek support from political parties and special-interest groups.

Eighty-five percent agreed that having judicial candidates make campaign pledges about potential court cases poses a risk to impartiality and fairness in the court system.

By 3-to-1 ratios, those surveyed expressed concern about campaign fundraising by judges, advertising in judicial campaigns and candidates for judgeships making campaign promises on political issues.

Only 5 percent said they believe campaign contributions to judges do not influence their decisions; 59 percent said money has some or a great deal of influence.

Just 22 percent said they believe Minnesota courts are free from the influence of special-interest groups.

"The surprising finding is that, while this may not be a top-of-mind issue for very many people at all, when people do think about it, they get very concerned about the direction (Minnesota's courts) are going," Rutledge said.

Last year, the Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary, chaired by former Gov. Al Quie, recommended amending the state Constitution to establish retention elections for judges. That constitutional amendment could be presented to voters on the November ballot.

Under that system, the governor would appoint judges nominated by a merit selection commission for a four-year term. A performance evaluation commission would review each judge's record, make the results public and advise voters whether it found the judge qualified. Voters would then decide whether to keep or remove the judge. No challengers would be on the ballot.

The poll showed 74 percent of Minnesotans support establishing retention elections for judges, while only 16 percent opposed the idea.

The Legislature also will consider a constitutional amendment to eliminate judicial elections. Eighty-five percent of the poll respondents were against that proposal, and 92 percent said it's important to have a public vote on judges.

Some legislators want the governor to submit the names of judicial nominees to the Legislature, which would then confirm or reject each nominee. Sixty-eight percent of the poll respondents opposed that proposal.

Rutledge said Justice at Stake commissions polls in states that are considering changes in how judges are selected. The Quie Commission put that issue on Minnesota's agenda, he said.

Bill Salisbury can be reached at bsalisbury@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5538.

92 Percentage of Minnesota voters who say it's important to have the public vote on judges

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "merit selection commission"? And, who decides who is appointed to this commission? The governor? A majority of the legislature?

We are not going to get politics out of the judicial system completly.

A few years back, I did some work for some judges running for re-election. As a person who was used to working on political campaigns, I found the rules very constraining, that was a good thing.

Unfortunatly a conservative nutcase named Greg Wersal spent money and fought hard to get the judicial cannons weakened to allow judges to run more political-like campaigns with party endorsements and all.

Under Tim Pawlenty this was put into law. Wersal then ran for office pledging to judge certain cases a certain way (before hearing any facts on individual cases), he was endorsed by the Republican Party and he lost. He lost bad. People don't want ideologues.

I like the old method of the governor appointing with advice from the legislative judicial committees and approval from the Senate. They are then up for election in a couple of years and usually go on to win barring some overt partisan actions. Good lawyers, and former DFLers and GOPers have gone on to the courts to be pretty good. Sen. Tom Neuville (R-Northfield)was just appointed by governor Pawlenty and was good with the DFL legislature too, though he was a good Republican. That's how it should be.

I'm not sure how or who would rate the judges. My suggestion is for the public to pay attention themselves. If its too much for them to pay attention to their judges then skip over voting for or against them.

For those who are against the judges and believe them to be corrupt, think about the rhetoric and spin you'll get when they are out here running full-blown campaigns. Truth won't matter as much as their ability to spin and twist decisions to fit on a bumper sticker. Just for the American attention span. A guy like me could find himself sitting on the Appeals Court. Think about that.

Eric

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't like Wersals actons Eric, but you certinly didn't mind the fact that the city of St Paul "fixed" the Ramsey County Court in much the same way against property owners did you?

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:52
How so? How were the courts 'fixed'?

It appears that the people didn't like Wersal or his agenda.

Listen, I support good government. I do not support corruption.

You landlords have failed to prove your case. You don't have to worry about me. I'm not a judge and will not be in your jury pool.

Half the time on here I'm reading about how strong your case is against the city- minus specific points of strength of course- and the other half of the time you're complaining about how corrupt the courts are. No doubt insulating yourself against any verdict that may not be in your favor. Let me guess, you watch the Fox News Channel a lot? Yep I knew it.

If some of you worked half as hard proving your case, as you do slinging mud and accusations on this site, you might have a chance. If you even have a case.

Don't start any crap with me. You got your hands full with your current issue.

My observation is above is spot on. I've worked elections for years as a professional. I've watched on here talk about changing the council and challenging incumbents only to to do neither. You couldn't even find candidates to run who were with your cause. Not one of the challengers would have been better than the incumbents for your issue.

Now you're in the courts first promising great success like you did with the elections(suing the city for a cash settlement) and already backing off of that with excuses that its corrupt. Just like you did with the elections.

Like it or not, you haven't delivered on your promises except to file a suit which anybody can do. Beyond that, its been a circus.

Eric

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,
Why don't you tell people about the Dred Scott decision? You are a "proud black man". In the 1856 Dred Scott case the U.S. Supreme court said a "free" black man was NOT a citizen. These federal judges are appointed FOR LIFE. One of the reasons in the 1857 constitutional debates that the people of Minnesota decided that the judges in Minnesota would be ELECTED is so that the PEOPLE would have control over the courts, not a bunch of appointed elitists.

The judges now work this "scam" with the governor. They "retire" less than a year before election, so the governor had the authority to appoint a replacement.

Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, a black man, and the ONLY Supreme Court judge that was NOT appointed, but gained his job by election, is supporting the Quie Commission. WHAT AN UNCLE TOM!just like you, Eric.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. A racist calling me and Uncle Tom over an issue that he doesn't understand. I really trying but can't get angry. You're just too small to get angry over.

Anyway Tiny Tim, those were federal judges and guess what, today we still appoint federal judges for life. This rule, or canon, is over state judges. Paige is on the Supreme Court and all of them run for re-election at one time or another. None of them are appointed for life. Same goes for the State Appeals Court and district judges.

You're probably a little confused now so I'll just let it sink in for the weekend.

It appears that with you like others (Sid) any black person that is educated and not depended upon your pitiful handouts or sympathy is an Uncle Tom. Well, you sir, are a cracker racist. Suck on those apples.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,
Maybe you should read the actual bill that the Quie commission is proposing, the one Paige is supporting. There will be NO REAL elections...duh!
We just get to decide, EIGHT years after the judge is appointed, if we want to"keep" the judge, or get another one appointed.

Why don't you get educated, and actually read what is going on, "unc" or should I say "cuz"?

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quie Commission Final Report

Call me Sir.

All judges under the state constitution serve a term. It four years except on the higher court where its six years. Nobody serves eights years.

Under the federal system, judges serve for life after being appointed by the President as written in our US Constitution. Nothing that happens at the state level can change that. Nothing. The Constitution is the law of the land.

So, after reading the report, I can see where it makes sense and can support most of it.

If you were as obsessed with learning as you are with race, you may be able to roll out an articulate case for feeble thoughts. I'm not sure what race has to do with this except you are offended that a black man or two can disagree with you.

How dare us?

Eric

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

The REASON that the people in Minnesota demanded that the judges be elected and not appointed is because of the idiot federal judges (appointed) that came up with the Dred Scott decision.

Now, Justice Paige, a black man that was ELECTED and not appointed by the governor is supporting changing the MN constitution so that the same thing that happened to blacks (being denied their rights by elitist white judges that are appointed) can now happen to everyone in the state of Minnesota.

Eric, wake up! Quit being an Uncle Tom and just mouthing off the rhedetic that has been fed to you, so that you, as a black man, are "kept in line".

The people in 1857 in Minnesota defended the right of the blacks to be citizens, by demanding the judges be elected, so that another Dred Scott would not happen to the blacks in our state.

Do you just want everyone to "feel the pain" of being black, or what?

If the black community is so stupid, to support an amendment to the Minnesota constitution so that judges are appointed, because some Uncle Tom Justice Paige tells them its a good idea, then they all need to be shipped to Liberia.

Maybe the white supremists are correct, blacks are just genetically stupid. There's even an "educated" black that posts on this blog and tries to convince us that he "knows whats going on" because he went to college.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How will this suggestion, stop federal judges from being elected?

I do see why you stay anonymous.
If I was fucking with me like you are, I'd pray that I NEVER find out who you really are.
The second reason is you're so ignorant and void of any facts, even you're probably embarrassed by your weak grasp of basic comprehension let alone regurgitating info.

So, Mr Superior White Man *cough-loser-cough. Tell us how this will stop lifetime appointments of federal judges. You bring up federal judges, Dred Scott and such. Please explain. Paige does not sit on a federal bench.

C'mon, put that third grade brain to work and spark a thought for us. Tell us how you're so much smarter than blacks with doctorates of jurisprudence and one who is elected, practiced and scholared on the Constitution.

I think we've heard the last from you. Dipshit.

Eric
(Anyone notice how my race (with the name calling) keeps being a factor with all of these folks who just want to help? I wonder if started saying things like 'shut up you cracker, redneck, sister-boinking, white trash, mullet wearing, Lynard Skynard loving, high school reminiscing, fat wife hating, partially employed, hate monger. I get a feeling that we may get off subject'.)

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric just demonstrated why the states did not want to have the blacks as citizens after the Civil War, and they had to become "federal citizens" instead of state citizens...they are too lazy to think.

I'm telling Eric why he is stupid, and he just gets angry because I am right.

One more time...

When the Dred Scott decision came down from the federal courts, from judges that are appointed and NOT ELECTED, the people in Minnesota were irate. At that time, the states decided who was a citizen and not the federal government, but the appointed federal judges said that a black man could not be a citizen.

The people in Minnesota said "no way", we are NOT going to have appointed judges (like the feds), we want control of the judges, and if they act stupid, we can remove them by election.

The Quie bill wants people to believe that an elite group of appointed
"intellectuals" (judges and lawyers) should choose the judges, and then another group of appointed elitists would evaluate the judge's performance. But the judges would NEVER be evaluated on how they ruled in cases, just things like if they got to court on time, did their paperwork, or if they were nice to people.

Quie actually said that it is too difficult for the voter to decide which judge to choose.

For thirty years the judges have been running a scam on the people in Minnesota. The judges decided that the people could not find out about the judicial candidates, and made a rule that judicial candidates could not distribute campaign literature.

Because of the Wersal (White) case, the voters will finally be able to get the information about a judicial candidate, and actually know information about the judges before they vote.

Eric, are you against the people knowing about the judges before they vote? Or are you just mad because the case is known as "the White case"?

The majority of black folks live off money from the government, money from hard working white people.

The only way we can stop this is by voting, and throwing out these liberals that want us to work and pay for them to live.

Liberia...we should have shipped them all off to Liberia, instead of in 1857 fighting for the right of blacks to vote for judges (and other officials). This is how they show their appreciation, by living off our money, and then trying to get us to give up our right to vote.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:11- exactly!

I knew you little inner-racist would come out. Don't worry, I'm the only one who will say anything as this site is an enabler for those who think like you.

1. You're an idiot.

2. 29 members, 3 black, and its the blacks fault? Six judges and only one is black. Its Justice Paige's fault? There is also a minority report, did you see who signed it? You're an idiot.

3. Whether this passes or not, the same federal judge structure is going to be there like it was in 1857- appointments for life. This does nothing to change that. You're and idiot.

4. Two-thirds of the people on welfare are not black. More 18-26 year old blacks are in college than jail. Corporate welfare drains four times more on the economy than WIC and other social economic programs. Oh, those are ran by white men over 80%. You're an idiot.

5. Every single state where judges run for office like Wersal wanted, corruption runs rampant, case are frequently petitioned elsewhere since the politics of the judge is known and political parties run the system, not the people. You're an idiot.

6. You didn't give us blacks anything, the constitution gave it to all Men. You, (white men) just needed about a century or two to remember and agree with it. You're an idiot.

7. Did I mention that you're an idiot?


Eric

12:03 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric, I have came out many times here against bigotry. You know this..

Lately for a good reason I have taken a back seat when these discussion take this turn. If I say something "being I am the host of the forum", often this kind of discussion grows silent. In fact I am trying hard to keep my opinion on many topics to myself as much as possible for this very reason.

I think it is important for people to express themselves. It is a valuable learning process for all of us. I commend you for your honesty and steadfast opinions Eric. You are an invaluable poster here, I pray we get more people here like yourself, Bill Cullen, Chuck, Tim C. and many others who are regulars here.

"We Are On A Truth Seeking Mission"

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, it just gets old. Even I'm tired of throwing insults at people who insult me.

This guy for instance has taken the stand that if you don't agree with him, you're not just stupid but, your whole race needs to be sent away from this country. And, your whole race owes its freedom to whites and your whole race just feeds off of working white people.

Bob, he's so stupid that he talks about fighting for the rights of blacks to vote in 1857. We didn't amend the Constitution for that to happen until 1865 and then 100 years later we had to pass the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act which tore down the institutional barriers put up by states and local governments for blacks to vote.

He further dumbs down the atmosphere by suggesting that blacks were not state citizens but only federal citizens. He doesn't understand that we ALL are federal citizens or the Constitution wouldn't apply to us. We are citizens of the country first, state second. Its why Article Six establishes the Constitution, and the laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it, to be the supreme law of the land, and that the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the laws or constitutions of any state notwithstanding.

The supreme law of the land.

But, he's cocky enough to come on here and tell me about my people and what we all should be doing. I'm thinking he should get a job.

These cowardly closet racists are tiring me out. It appears as long as you don't speak against the lawsuits, you are welcome to spout off whatever without a lot of backlash.

Eric

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,
The states originally handled CITIZENSHIP, until after the Civil War and none of the states wanted the uneducated blacks as citizens. That is the reason the feds had to create "federal citizenship".

You are correct. You, a black man, are a federal citizen.

"My people" founded the state of Minnesota. By blood, I am a state citizen FIRST, and because I am a state citizen, I am a citizen of the united states.

You came from Chicago. You are not, nor ever can be, a citizen of the state of Minnesota.

Many of "your people" have come to my state from Detroit and Chicago because the welfare here is so good.

Check it out. How many blacks have come to the state of Minnesota, never gotten a job, and just suck off of the white folks that built this state?

My guess is: the majority of the black population in St. Paul.

I'm not a racist. I just expect people, black, white, yellow, red to participate in society not be leeches.

Face it. The black community does not know how to act as citizens. They came here as slaves, not as freemen. They have no foundation, and no reason to learn how to be citizens. The black leaders know this and can't "get their own people together".

Hey, it's not "their fault". They were slaves. the white folks stole their identity.

But, enough is enough.

If the blacks don't want to finally learn how to be citizens, then they should all be shipped to Liberia. It was a good idea 140 years ago, and it still is a good idea.

Lots of blacks were sent to Liberia after the Civil War.

Oh, that's right, they couldn't figure out how to build their own country, and had a horrible war themselves. And guess what, they ended back here, in the U.S.A. Well, the war in Liberia is over, and they need to go back.

They should take all their "welfare brothers and sisters" with them, and don't forget cuz.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see why you can't understand facts or hold a decent discussion.You are a racist. You say you are not but write an entire post that reads as a racist screed. A really ignorant one. You and your brain are like a chicken and a ruby. The chicken doesn't know how he got it, or its value, so he just pecks at it.

For those who can read and want more info:
http://www.impartialcourts.org/mic/index.html

Even Governing magazine breaks it down to a scientific non-partisan level:
http://www.governing.com/articles/3judges.htm

You are wrong on who I am and where I come from. You are wrong on Blacks in general. You are wrong on citizenship. You are wrong on the courts. You are wrong on the contributions to America that blacks have made. You are wrong on history. I would wager that your kind of people are more likely to be sent away than people like me.

You are the leech. You have been a failure your entire life, you seem to envy what others have and hate yourself for not finding any happiness or even parity with others.

You have sought esteem in your ability to come on the internet and spout out hateful things and be-little others when in reality, you do it to make yourself feel of some worth. Well, you failed at that too. You're still worthless.

Look in the mirror and say "I'm worthless and don't matter. I have not contributed nothing to this earth and have cause nothing but disappoint around me". Then, pull the trigger.

Other than that, Have a Nice Day.

Eric

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh- the Dred Scott ruling was struck down in 1865 with the 14th Amendment. The funny thing about our country here is that if you stop reading the history, you'll never get the whole story.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is one of the post-Civil War amendments, first intended to secure rights for former slaves. It includes the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses among others. It was proposed on June 13, 1866, and ratified on July 9, 1868. It is perhaps the most significant structural change to the Constitution since the passage of the United States Bill of Rights. The amendment provides a broad definition of United States citizenship, overturning the Dred Scott case, which excluded Blacks. It requires the states to provide equal protection under the law to all persons (not only to citizens) within their jurisdictions, and was used in the mid-20th century to dismantle legal segregation, as in Brown v. Board of Education.

Eric

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

The 14th Amendment was never properly ratified. Why don't YOU actually do some research.

You have not addressed the reason that Minnesota demanded that judges be elected.

Here, read what Minnesota Senator Ortman wrote in "Minnesota Law and Politics":

http://www.lawandpolitics.com/minnesota/default.asp?section=ARTICLES&module=ITEM&id=358

Oh, that's right, you just want to spout off about race.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh lordy. Are you still around?
Ortman can't even keep her conflicts of interest out of the public domain what do I care what she says?

Let's go over this in a quick way. You seem to be a bit slow and 'special'.

1.
You start off by trying to point to some evil that appointed Federal judges supported in regards to citizenship and blacks in the mid-nineteenth century.
I point out that this rule doesn't change that, federal jugdes will still be appointed for life. You call me and Justice Paige Uncle Toms.

2.
You spout off all of the racial crap you can think of for anyone black who doesn't agree with you. I call you out and further ask you to explain how this changes life appointed federal judges. You disappear.

3.
I show where federal courts have overturned Dred Scott and upheld the 14th amendment. You talk about sending all blacks back to Africa.

4.
You tell me all I care about is race.


Typical.

Eric

4:59 PM  

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