The HCBA has been invited to comment on the Minnesota State Bar's legislative policy on judicial selection and retention, informing MSBA's potential continuation or revision of this policy.
HCBA members are strongly encouraged to provide their thoughts on judicial selection and retention by Friday, February 1, to Julia Peacock, HCBA executive assistant to the executive director, at email@example.com. Comments will be shared with the HCBA Board of Directors to inform discussion and action on this issue at their February 12 meeting.
The current MSBA position on judicial selection and retention is as follows:
The MSBA supports changing to a system of judicial selection and retention that is as free from political influence as possible and that includes: (1) initial screening of candidates by a merit selection commission; (2) appointment by the Governor from a list of candidates recommended by the merit selection commission; (3) evaluation of each judge's performance by a nonpartisan evaluation commission; and (4) the retention of each judge decided by the voters with the result of the judge's evaluation made known.
For context on this issue, the following articles are suggested reading:
“Minnesota Judicial Elections: Improving a Time-Tested Process” by Tom Tinkham
“Maintaining the Integrity of the Judiciary: The Quie Commission’s Majority Report” by Wil Fluegel
“Judicial Elections in Minnesota: Past, Present, and Future” by George Soule