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Selection Reform Hits Political Snag in Minnesota

Malia Reddick Posted in Quality Judges

As IAALS Online has covered in the past, the Coalition for Impartial Justice has been working for several years to move Minnesota from nonpartisan judicial elections to commission-based appointment with retention elections and performance evaluation, which would require amending the state constitution. Proponents of reform hope to stave off the costly and contentious high court races that many other states have seen and to ensure high quality judges, while opponents say it would take away Minnesotans’ right to vote. The proposal has bipartisan support, with sponsors on both sides of the aisle, but some Republican lawmakers have recently withdrawn their support in response to pressure from their party. With party control of the house of representatives up for grabs in 2014, selection reform may be an issue that legislators opt not to prioritize.