Golden Valley attorney Jill Clark, who is running for the Supreme Court seat occupied by Justice Lorie Gildea, is troubled by the “Affirmation” the Minnesota State Bar Association recently requested that she sign and adhere to.
The affirmation, created by the MSBA’s Judicial Election Campaign Conduct Committee and sent to candidates in this year’s judicial election, requests that they refrain from:
--making public comments about pending court proceedings;
--announcing their opinions on disputed political issues;
--identifying themselves or their opponent as members of a political organization; and
--personally seeking campaign contributions.
In a July 28, 2008, letter to David Stowman, chair of the JECCC, Clark said that the committee is “essentially, pressuring me to abide by the clauses [of Canon 5] that were declared unconstitutional in the White cases.”
Clark writes that while she doesn’t want judges to agree to platforms in advance or single-issue politics to select our judges, “freedom of speech means we get to discuss these issues in our own way.” Clark goes on to say that it’s “naïve” to suggest that politics doesn’t affect the system we have now. For the full text of the letter, click here.
Also running for Gildea’s Supreme Court seat are assistant state public defender Rick Gallo and Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund.