Supreme Court candidate Jill Clark has served an Application to Circuit Justice for Injunction Preventing Unconstitutional Text on Election Ballot for Minnesota Supreme Court Pending Review by Supreme Court of the United States and presumably forwarded the same to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the circuit justice for the Eighth U.S. Circuit. She is contesting the denial of such relief by a special five-judge panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Clark has requested Alito to enjoin Minnesota from printing the name of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lorie Gildea—whom she refers to as “vacancy-filler”—or from printing incumbent by her name on the Sept. 9 primary ballot. Clark argues that the practice of labeling “incumbent” a judicial candidate who was appointed by the governor and is running for the first time is unconstitutional because it “eviscerates the rights of voters, who should be choosing their judges by election.”
Clark makes some interesting comments in her application, to wit:
1. The Minnesota Supreme Court panel that denied her motion issued its opinion a “mere two hours” after the argument, without “defending itself.” “It appears this could be a ‘lay up’ for this Court to enter [an] injunction pending review, as if the talented Justices on the Panel knew what had to be done, but could not bring themselves to do it.
2. That Clark refused to sign a “missive” from the Minnesota State Bar Association that would waive her federal rights under Republican Party v. White and that the MSBA is “closely aligned” with the state courts, and members of the judiciary sit on its council and “guide its actions.”
3. That the governor illegally appointed “vacancy-filler Gildea” to Associate Justice, after the governor created a vacancy in the seat [by appointing Russell Anderson as chief justice] in order to appoint Gildea and intentionally avoid an election. “The Governor pulled similar tactics to prevent the Chief Justice Seat from going to election. Indeed, a ‘retiring’ Supreme Court Justice ‘bargained’ with the then governor—if she agreed to retire early—would he agree to let her pick her replacement. That retired Justice was quite public about her ‘bargaining power.’(See Ex. 8 to Ex. C). But that little ‘bargain’ intentionally disenfranchised Minnesota voters.”
I’ve called Clark’s office to ask for Ex. 8 to Exh. C. Exhibit C is an affidavit written by Clark accompanying her submission to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Clark is in court and hasn’t responded yet.
Clark argument relies on Republican Party v. White, decided in 2002 before Alito was named to the court. Alito is often said to “follow” Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who were in the majority on White.