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Friday, May 30, 2008

State GOP declines to endorse judges at convention

The state GOP decided not to endorse any judges at its convention in Rochester. The Judicial Election Committee recommended that no endorsements be given because the committee did not have time to properly vet judges. The committee also told delegates that none of the judges up for election in 2008 -- including the two Supreme Court justices and seven Court of Appeals judges -- had applied for an endorsement. Likewise, no potential challengers for judicial seats applied for an endorsement, and the committee was unable to identify at this point who the challengers will be.

In making its recommendation that no endorsements now be given, committee representatives expressed concern with judicial activism. In a rebuff to judicial-election reform efforts in Minnesota, they also criticized any attempt to curb the right of the people to elect judges, "the only way we have left to hold judges accountable."

The decision not to endorse does not end the GOP's involvement in judicial elections. The committee said it plans to develop a "scorecard" to rate judges and judicial candidates on such things as temperament and fairness. The committee described its work as "ongoing." The committee also called for anyone who has information about "judges out there involved in criminal acts" to come forward and let it know.

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