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JudicialElectionCommitteeMinorityReport

ByDavidAsp&HarryNiska

Wedissentfromboth:
TheJECmajoritysdecisiontowithholdimportantinformationfromthe
conventionregardingMichelleMacDonaldsqualificationsasacandidateand
TheJECmajoritysdecisiontorecommendMichelleMacDonaldfor
endorsement.

I.

TheJECagainwithheldimportant
informationfromtheConvention.
TheJECmetwithMacDonaldformorethan2hourstodiscusshercandidacy.
Duringthatmeeting,MacDonaldsresponsestoquestionsraisedmany
concerningfactsthatcouldbedamagingbothtothecandidateandtheparty.
ButthemajorityontheJECvotednottodiscloseanyofthosefactsin
itsmajorityreport.Infact,themajorityactuallytookaformalvote
nottoinformtheconventionthatMacDonaldfiledalegalcomplaint
againsttheRepublicanPartyin2014andwasunwillingtocommitnot
tobringsuchacomplaintinthefuture.
TheJECsdecisiontowithholdimportantinformationfromconventiondelegates
harkensbackto2014,whentheJECfailedtodiscloseseveralrelevantfacts
beforeMacDonaldwasendorsed.WehopedJECwouldactinamore
transparentmannerin2016.Weweredisappointed.
TheJECsrefusaltoprovidedelegateswithacompletepictureofthe
controversiessurroundingMacDonaldisdetrimentaltothepartyandthepartys
processforendorsingcandidates.

II. TheJECshouldnothaverecommended
MichelleMacDonaldforendorsement.
EndorsingMacDonaldwillbringharmtotheparty
Aswasthecasein2014,thereis(andwillbe)extraordinaryoppositionby
Republicanstothiscandidacy,andanendorsementwillresultindivision.
In2014,MacDonaldfiledafrivolousOAHcomplaintagainstthepartythat
wasthrownoutasnotlegallyfounded.Inourinterviewandfollowup
writtenquestions,MacDonaldwasaskedtoruleouteversuingtheparty
again.ShewouldnotdosoinsteadMacDonaldsaidshedidnotdesire
tosuetotheparty.
MacDonaldisnotqualifiedandwouldnotbeaneffectivejudge
Delegatesshouldexpecthigherqualificationsofacandidatethanthe
minimumqualificationsofhavingalawdegree.Potentialjudgesand
justicesshouldhavedemonstratedexpertise,legalskill,andbeableto
effectivelyandpersuasivelydefendtheirjudicialphilosophy.
WedonotbelieveMacDonaldcanarticulateordefendherjudicial
philosophy.AlthoughMacDonaldclaimstobeanoriginalist,shewas
unabletoexplainwhyorexplainwhatanoriginalistjudicialphilosophy
means.
Duringtheinterview,MacDonaldfailedtoarticulatelydiscussany
constitutionalviewsbeyondbuzzwordsandheadlines.Forexample,she
assertedthatshehadadifferenceofopinionwithJusticeHudsononthe
FirstAmendmentthatsheplannedtomakeanissueinthecampaign,but
whenaskedtoexplain,shewasnotabletoarticulatethissupposed
difference.
Whenaskedforexamplesofherlegalwork,MacDonaldsubmitted
samplesofwrittenbriefs.Thebriefspropoundeddubiousconstitutional
theories,includingexpansionofsubstantivedueprocessbeyondthescope
ofcurrentlaw.
Inparticular,shearguedin
anamicusbrieftotheMinnesota
SupremeCourt
thattheUSConstitutionprohibitsMinnesotastate
courtsfromissuingnocontactorderswithchildren.Itisimportant

tonotethatthisamicusbriefwasonbehalfofherownnonprofit
organization,soshewasnotsimplyrepresentingaclientsprivate
interests,shewaschoosingtoadvocateforthislegalposition.
Thisargumentislegallydubious,andprofoundlyopposedto
conservativejurisprudence,byassertingthatfederallawtiesthe
handsofthestatesinfamilylawaquintessentialstateissue
andbyembracing,andattemptingtoextend,thedoctrineof
substantivedueprocess.
MacDonaldhasdemonstratedalackofappropriatejudicial
temperament
Inatleastthreeincidents,inpubliclyavailablevideo,shehas
demonstratedavolatileandconfrontationaltemperament
DetainedinDakotaCountycourtfordisobeyingcourtofficers
StoppedforDUI
2014MNGOPStateFairboothincident
MacDonaldhasrepeatedlyshownalackofrespectforlawenforcement
andjudges.

_______________________________________________

Ourrecommendations

Onquestionofconsideringjudicialendorsements:
Becauseonlyone
candidateisseekinganendorsement,andwebelievethatanendorsementofthat
candidateisimprudent,werecommenda
Novote
onthisquestion.

OnquestionofendorsingMichelleMacDonaldforMinnesota
SupremeCourt:
Iftheinitialmotionpassesandjudicialendorsementsare
considered,werecommendvoting
Noendorsement
onthequestionof
endorsingforMinnesotaSupremeCourt.