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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clark seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of ballot challenge

Jill Clark, candidate for a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court, is planning to seek U.S. Supreme Court review of this week’s order denying her request to remove Justice Lorie Gildea’s name from the upcoming primary ballot.

Clark filed a “Motion to Suspend the Rules for Emergency Order on Petitioners’ Motion To Issue Writ of Mandamus Pending Review and Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States and Motion for Such Relief” on Aug. 27. She requested an order compelling that Gildea’s name be removed from the ballot or, in the alternative, that the designation of “incumbent” be removed.

The Supreme Court panel assembled to hear this matter denied the request today, Aug. 28. “Petitioners’ motion for relief does not seek to preserve the status quo pendent lite in the Supreme Court of the United States. Rather, it seeks, on an emergency basis and purportedly only pending a ruling from the Supreme Court, precisely the relief sought in the petition on the merits, which this court denied in its order of August 26. Petitioners have provided neither rationale nor legal authority for granting, pending appeal, the very relief already denied by the court, particularly where that relief would deny a candidate a place on the ballot and therefore require a new election if petitioners are unsuccessful on the merits,” wrote Acting Chief Justice James Gilbert for the Court.

Clark had also requested an expedited briefing schedule, which was denied as moot.

A spokesperson from Clark’s law office, who would not give her name except as “Peggy,” said that today’s order was needed in order for Clark to move on to the U.S. Supreme Court, and said that the candidate was preparing an “Application for Injunction Pending Petition for Certiorari.”


Anonymous said...

If a lawyer writes well, no one will know if she is a fool until she opens her mouth.

But in the case of Jill Clark, you just have to read her court papers to remove any doubt.

Anonymous said...

In her recent filings to try and remove a sitting Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Jill Clark showed that she cannot research, write, or even hit the spell-checker.

In her filings, she has incorrect spellings for "acknowledged," "acceptance," "consistently," "eviscerate," her opponent's first name, or the Quie Commission (which she calls the Quiet Commission).

Anonymous said...

Jill Clark is also unsure if the case of Page v. Carlson was in the 1980s, the 1990s, or in 2002.

On page 13 of her petition, she wrote that the case was decided in 2002.

On page two of her petition, she wrote that it was decided in 1992. That was correct.

Throughout her papers, she incorrectly cites the case as being at 448 N.W.2d 274, which would place the decision sometime in the late 1980s.

Legal scholars and lawyers need court citations to be correct, so that they can read the case and see if the lawyer's argument is accurate. Clark is careless.

Jill Clark is also either rude or careless in her citation of the Page case. On page two of her petition, she makes several claims about the holding in the decision, followed by the signal id for page 274 of the decision. But that signal is useless, because there is no language from the decision on that page. Researchers would have to hunt through the whole opinion to see if the claims were matched by the opinion.

Anonymous said...

In the very first sentence of her petition, Jill Clark refers to the "Supreme court." Throughout the rest of her papers, she either capitalizes both words or neither of them.

At page 25, she correctly refers to the United States Supreme Court. At page 37, she becomes less formal and cites the U.S. Supreme Court. Okay, her fingers got tired. But at pages 3, 11, 35 and 36, she gets to tired to insert periods in the phrases "US Constitution" or "US Constitutional analysis." Is the US Constitution different from the PEOPLE Constitution?

She really, really wants to be on the "Supreme court" to expound on the "US Constitution." But she will have to write gooder!

Anonymous said...

At page 18 of her petition, Jill Clark shows a lack of knowledge of both Minnesota history and her role in life as a scrivener.

She wrote that Minnesota adopted its Constitution in 1958. Our Constitution became effective on May 11, 1858.

Jill Clark did not even need to know that, if she just could have quoted Justice Scalia correctly. Justice Scalia knows Minnesota history better than Jill Clark. And he knows how to proof-read.

If Jill Clark cannot research well, write well, use grammar properly, or construct an argument, at least she should learn to copy more carefully from people who do have those skills.

Anonymous said...

On page 29 of her petition, she used the phrase "Florida incumbent" when she should have used "Florida law."

In footnote three on page seven, she omitted the word "as" from the phrase "Magnuson to serve [as] Chief Justice."

In footnote three on page seven, she used the noun "premier" (as in the leader of the French government)instead of the preferred adjective "premiere" to describe the qualifications of Chief Justice Eric Magnuson.

On page 16, Jill Clark incorrectly used the word "selection" instead of the word "election" in the phrase "the right of the people to select by judicial selection."

On page 39, she should have used the word "and" instead of the plus symbol.

Anonymous said...

At page 24, Jill Clark was confused again. She should have used the phrase "election-one-year-after-appointment" instead of "election-one-year-after-election."

At the bottom of page seven, Jill Clark omitted the word "the" from the phrase "[the] Hennepin County Auditor does not produce a sample ballot."

At the bottom of page seven, Jill Clark uses the phrase "County Auditors and/or other municipalities." Auditors are never municipalities. Municipalities are never auditors. A correct phrase might have been "County Auditors or municipal officials."

Lawyers will wince at this observation that may bring back memories of their first year in law school. In several places such as pages 10 and 39, she incorrectly uses the word "since" (which would indicate events since a certain point of time) instead of "because" (which would indicate a causal link).

There are dozens of other errors in spelling or grammar, but these examples will suffice.

Of more interest to some readers may be her problems with formal legal writing. The Blue Book exists for a reason, if only to bring form to the demanding discipline of legal scholarship.

Anonymous said...

In the first sentences of the first two paragraphs on page two of the Petition, Jill Clark cannot make a choice between "pursuant under" or "pursuant to."

Occasionally (such as in footnote five at page 19), Jill Clark remembers to write like a lawyer and uses infra to indicate a matter that will be discussed later. Usually, she lapses back to argot and uses "below."

Similarly, she eschews the use of the proper signal supra, and just writes "above."

At page two of thye petition, she cites what she believes could be important cases for her. She uses the signal cf before the cases, which is supposed to tell lawyers and legal scholars that these cases are important, but different from the facts in the instant case. But she does not use parentheticals or sentences to explain how these cases differ or why they are important.

She routinely omits commas, in violation of legal style.

On page 19 of the Petition, Clark claims that she added "emphasis" to a quote from a case. No emphasis is added.

At the top of page 33, she fails to demonstrate the proper use of an ellipsis.

There are many other examples of abuse of legal form in writing.

None of these are fatal. As Yoda might say, "Everyone some mistakes will make."

But if her papers in this case represent a writing sample as she applies for a job on the Supreme Court, Jill Clark failed.

Anonymous said...

Research and facts also matter in high-level legal scholarship. Jill Clark fails repeatedly on this count, as well.

On page 21 of the Petition, Jill Clark wrote that "a prior Governor used Section 9 of the Minnesota Constitution to prevent an election in 1992." My memory does not fail me. The election was not prevented. Justice Page began his great service to the Minnesota Supreme Court that year, after winning the election that Governor Perpich was not able to prevent.

Anonymous said...

Now we turn to the question of the structure of Jill Clark's argument.

Jill Clark asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to order the Governor to remove Justice Gildea from the September 9 ballot in violation of her constitutiional right to seek office, or to remove her statutorily-guaranteed designation as an "incumbent" on the ballot. Jill Clark sued the wrong person, because the Governor lacks constitutional and statutory power to dictate the form or content of a ballot.

Jill Clark asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to order the Secretary of State to remove Justice Gildea from the September 9 ballot in violation of her constitutiional right to seek office, or to remove her statutorily-guaranteed designation as an "incumbent" on the ballot. Jill Clark sued the wrong person, because the Secretary of State lacks constitutional and statutory power to dictate the form or content of a ballot.

Jill Clark asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to order the Rice County Auditor to remove Justice Gildea from the September 9 ballot in violation of her constitutiional right to seek office, or to remove her statutorily-guaranteed designation as an "incumbent" on the ballot. Here, Jill Clark came closer to making a colorable argument, because County Auditors (with the ratification of their respective County Attorneys) do set the language for ballots.

But Jill Clark forgot to ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to strike down the statute providing for the "incumbency" designation in judicial races. Unless that law were to be struck, the 87 County Auditors would be bound to follow the will of the people as reflected by the statute enacted by their legislators. Further, Clark only sued the County Auditor. She should have acted against all 87 County Auditors, or has been done in the past, against one County Auditor as a representative of the other 86 officials.

So Jill Clark sued the wrong people, and did not ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to take the actions necessary to grant her fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Then there arises the question of why Jill Clark waited until the last minute to try to bar Justice Gildea from seeking public office.

Under the doctrine of "laches," Minnesota courts have barred pre-election challenges that were brought as little as 48 days after the challenges allegedly became ripe.

But Jill Clark had notice since last September that Justice Gildea would be seeking office when she formed and filed notice of her campaign committee.

As the Justices noted at the hearing last week, Jill Clark had clear notice at the latest on July 1, 2008 that Justice Gildea had filed for Seat Four for this year's election. Jill Clark did not have to wait until the last minute to register herself as a candidate, or to wait for another three and one half weeks to file her Petition.

Based on prior Minnesota precedents, the Minnesota Supreme Courts have grounds to dismiss the action.

Anonymous said...

Then there is the "smile behind your hand" factor.

Two of the leading legal sources cited by Jill Clark were Wikipedia and the dictoionary.

Jill Clark cited no precedent from Minnesota's Constitution, statutes, or case law which indicated that she could knock an opponent off the ballot. Instead, Jill Clark relied on Wikipedia to advise the Justices.

Jill Clark did cite a Michigan case which held that a person appointed to fill a judicial vacancy could not immediately seek a full term in that position. But she wilted under questions from the Justices which showed that the Michigan statute and Constitution reflected a specific decision made by the people of that state which were not adopted by the people of Minnesota. "Sure, Michigan has that extra language" that Minnesota does not, but we should apply the same concept here, she told the Court.

Perhaps Ms. Clark should run for the Legislature if she wants to legislate.

Anonymous said...

Jill Clark also claimed that the language of the original Minnesota Constitution was meant by the Framers to bar people appointed to judicial vacancies from seeking full terms in those seats.

Facts are stubborn things, Ms. Clark.

History can be inconvenient, Ms. Clark.

The original Minnesota Supreme Court consisted of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices.

Before the end of their first term, the two Associate Justices resigned. The lawyers appointed to fill the vacancies ran for and won full terms.

And, oh yes, Ms. Clark. One of those appointees was a signatory to the original Minnesota Constitution. Perhaps his memory and those of the voters were just shaky on whether appointees could seek full terms.

Ms. Clark, you flunked English, you flunked history, you flunked math and book-keeping (the numbers do not add up on the campaign finance report that you filed three days late this week).

How did you do in chemistry?

Anonymous said...

Just based on Jill Clark's writing sample, it is fair to say that she is not qualified for a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Perhaps that is why the Minnesota Women Lawyers' judicial review committee did not find Jill Clark to be qualified.

The best that we can hope for is that Jill Clark will finish fourth in the September 9 primary.

That way, the United States Supreme Court can just dismiss her appeal as moot.


Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

1. Anonymous, what is your name? Jill Clark put her name on her pleadings, why can't you identify yourself?

2. I will probably vote for Gildea, but "anonymous" seems to be especially angry with Clark. Is it partially because she has the temerity to challenge the system?

Anonymous said...

Please remove comments 1-14.

I am the author. I stand by what I said.

But Peter is right. The comments seem too angry.