Resources

These resources will help you better understand the judicial selection process and why legislators should reform that process.

The Proposed Legislative Bills: Senate File 70 and House File 224 as introduced, and status of the bills in the Senate and House.

Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary: The Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary, chaired by Governor Al Quie, is an independent citizens group composed of individuals from diverse background in law politics, business, labor, and academics. The Commission was established in February 2006 to review and make recommendations concerning the method of selection of Minnesota’s state court judges. More specifically, the Commission’s task was to consider the nature and scope of the threats to an impartial court system in the aftermath of Republican Party v. White and assess the option for preserving and promoting an impartial court system.
Read the full report.

Brennan Center for Justice provides the public with valuable information with its fair courts initiative.

Justice at Stake, a national judicial advocacy organization, addresses the case of a West Virginia coal company, where the coal company’s executive made a very large contribution to a Supreme Court justice who is now hearing his company’s case.  See Supreme court hears landmark case and New JAS Pole: Public wants a firewall between funders and judges.

A State-by-state Comparison: Twenty states use retention elections for some judges. Eight states use retention elections for all judges, three of whom provide voters with the results of a public performance evaluation. Six states use retention elections for appellate judges only, one of which provides voters with the results of a public performance evaluation. Four states use retention elections for appellate judges and some trial judges, two of which provide voters with the results of a performance evaluation. One state uses retention elections only if a judge has no opponent.
Download the complete comparison.

Republican Party of Minnesota v. White:   A 2005 United States Supreme Court decision (known as the White decision) struck down Canon 5 of Minnesota’s Code of Judicial Conduct requiring that judges remain politically neutral in election campaigns.
Read the full decision.
Read an Amicus brief.

Judicial Elections in Minnesota: Current Process versus Retention Election This diagram compares the current selection process to the Quie Commission’s proposed retention election process.
View the comparison.