The best way to select a judge's successor

  • Article by: By Thomas G. McCarthy
  • Updated: February 17, 2014 - 6:36 PM

I’ll retire early and allow for an appointment rather than a public vote. Here’s why.

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supervon2Feb. 17, 14 7:20 PM

I really don't think that the governor has a greater knowledge of the world to select a governor. That said, the truth be told, these judgeships are doled out as rewards for years of political judgments that go the ruling party's ways.

goserFeb. 17, 14 7:49 PM

Instead of filling these appointments with selected judges, we ought to leave them empty until an election and use retired judges to hear any needed caseloads in the interim. The Judge's intent seems honorable but it's part of a big middle finger to the MN Constitution and voters. The legislature can seek to have the MN Constitution amended if this is an issue. Otherwise it is another example (like the Vikings stadium) or abuse of the law.

elmore1Feb. 17, 14 7:56 PM

You make good points about voters not being informed about the qualifications. That being said the flip side always results in a partisan appointment as a reward for political contributions. Perhaps making voters aware of the performance of the judges would be a helpful way to inform their decisions. Case load, number of complaints, professional leadership in leading reform/improveents etc would be good criteria to start with.

minn12Feb. 18, 1412:57 AM

This is just a trick so a liberal judge can rig the system so a liberal governor can appoint another liberal judge. And the way liberals always scream about 'voter suppression' whenever voter ID comes up, you'd think they'd want people to vote to elect judges. But noooooo.

braxozFeb. 18, 14 1:26 AM

The best argument for appointing judges as opposed to electing them - Roy Stewart Moore.

arspartzFeb. 18, 14 3:54 AM

I wonder if the author's opinion would be different if conservatives were the majority? It sounds like he's afraid the voters might select the "wrong" candidate.

fooledmeonceFeb. 18, 14 7:42 AM

a very arrogant judge so above the common voter, yes it will rig the judgeship with a political appointee, it's the power isn't it judge

ruphinaFeb. 18, 14 8:36 AM

how about each party having their own committee and choosing a nominee and then we get to vote? And every criteria listed by this committee is evaluated and published for each of those candidates? Bill G.

Izzy96Feb. 18, 14 9:55 AM

Anyone who has had any contact with the civil or criminal side of the State of Minnesota judicial system will tell you there are personal and systematic biases which largely determine the quality of outcomes. It doesn't matter if we appoint, anoint or elect. Once a judge sits on the bench, like it or not, they are largely dependent upon the attorneys that appear before them as well as the current methods and systematic biases in-place that current judges abide by. Still, a decision not favorable to you by one judge might have been favorable to you with another judge. Why? Because of personal bias based upon that judges personal experiences, the political and social winds of the day as well as budgetary and court calendar constraints. Occasionally, if the civil side, say family court is short a judge due to retirement or quantity of caseloads, a judge from the criminal side might slide over to the civil side for a time. This means this new judge is considerably more reliant upon the attorneys to provide information and case history. That is all well, and fine unless one of the parties has no attorney. My point is bias is by far the largest factor, usually massively negative for one side even if there are considerable merits to their case. Whatever we can do to eliminate, reduce or make known personal an systematic biases, that is the course of action to follow. The rich can afford an attorney. The poor are appointed pubic defenders. The bulk of people fall between those two examples, and they either empty the bank account or appear Pro Se who if they lose often end up paying a percentage of the other parties attorney fees. One way of reducing the biases might be to ensure that all citizens have attorneys without the necessity of making decision about mortgage payments versus substantial attorney fees.

Seawaves AheadFeb. 18, 1410:48 AM

Judge McCarthy is right that the appointment vetting process is far more thorough, but there are two glaring problems with that method. It takes another power the people currently have and the government will never give it back. Secondly, it prevents a political maverick, not gad fly, from getting in and shaking things up from time to time. That action is an American tradition those in power don't like.


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