Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Is the DFL chair against the Constitution?

This seemlingly big story doesn’t seem to get very much attention.

A federal appeals court paved the way Tuesday for potential knock-down partisan fights among judicial candidates in Minnesota with a ruling that will allow candidates to align with political parties and ask for campaign donations.

The ruling by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated longstanding restrictions on Minnesota's judicial candidates that attempted to prevent campaigns from affecting a judge's impartiality. The court said those restrictions violate First Amendment rights.

The ruling got cheers from those who argue that voters should have more information on judicial candidates and that candidates should be able to speak freely. But for many in the legal community, it ignited fears of the public electing judges on the basis of political or social agendas. (Source: “Court lets politics into judge’s races,” Star Tribune, August 3, 2005)

The DFL’s response was this:

DFL Party chairman Brian Melendez, a lawyer, said he thought the decision was "correct as a matter of constitutional law, but I still think it's bad policy." Melendez said he thinks the Minnesota tradition of restraint in bringing parties and issues into judicial races has produced "a very talented and nonpoliticized judiciary."
(Source: “Court lets politics into judge’s races,” Star Tribune,
August 3, 2005)

Man, Melendez is like Minnesota’s very own Howard Dean. You have Melendez saying that certain aspects of constitutional law make for “bad policy.” I had no idea that he was against the document that this very country is founded on. I wonder what sections of the Constitution he thinks are “bad policy.” Maybe he is against Section 8. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.


At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh, this is exactly like your abortion arguement. It has been held up by the USSC that the 5th amendment protects the right of women to have abortions. You think it is bad policy.

Does that mean you hate the 5th amendment?

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous GUM said...

What a dummy. The 5th Amendment protects against double jeopardy, allows for due process, etc.

Hopefully you'll have time to read up on the Constitution when you're done aborting more innocent babies.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon me, 4th amendment, but good job avoiding my arguement.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:10 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

I will review your blog on "xbox 260 cheat codes" if and only if you will admit that Melendez is against the Constitution!

At 12:16 PM, Blogger DFL Governor said...

To the first anonymous (not the dude jonsing for an X-Box)-

Don't you get it that this post isn't about abortion?

It's about the damn right wingers taking over the courts.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

You don't even know ConLaw and you think you can come into my house and try to lecture me?!

Well, I don't want to keep you, I'm sure you have to make up a few excuses on why killing babies is acceptable.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melendez was correct.

The ruling was in conformance to the Constitution. Nevertheless, it opens Minnesota up to possibly becoming one of those states we lawyers, on all sides, dislike - a state where legal rulings follow public opinion more so than the law.

The Consitution is an imperfect thing, protecting some good areas, but leaving some bad results. We live with it, though, because it's all a net plus, and also because our system of government is predicated upon acceptance of the entire document throughout time. Constancy and consistency are probably worth a few shaky results, like this one.

I dislike it when a criminal gets off because a cop forgets one phrase in the Miranda warning. But, our Constitution has been interpreted as mandating that result. And so, I accept it, as being one small (unfortunate) part of the (good) whole.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

So we should change this because it will give you lawyers a head ache? Well, finally you're gettin ga taste of your own medicine.

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won't give me a headache nearly as much as it will give my clients a headache when the newly elected DFL judge won't enforce the law, but will instead shut down his business because DFLers think a cigar shop is icky.

Or nearly as much as my client the blogger who gets served with an injunction prohibiting him from making a future statement against some DFL politician, even though such an injunction would be an impermissible prior restraint, but which the judge decided to sign because he was counting on that next big campaign contribution from the MN DFlers.

Get wise, man. What seems a nice result is only a nice result when it works for you. This one is gonna be a bust.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(P.S. You misinterpret me. I didn't say, change it. I said, yep, constitutional, but bad, too.)

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

From what alternate plane of existance are you from? Do you really think that Minnesota will elect judges with a disregard for the law? Why do you liberals feel the need to put down average Minnesotans?

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, the XBox 360 thing was comment spam. He's trying to use the "good standing" of your site to increase his Google page rank for when the XBox 360 comes out.

Second, it is stupid to say that Melendez is against the constitution, just like it would be stupid to say you are against the constitution because you think Abortion should be illegal. It is OK to disagree with rulings and still agree with the constitution.

Free speech and political speech are complicated things, and it really depends on the court to interpret what can be limited for the good of the electoral process. I for one think that judges should not be elected in Minnesota, they should be appointed by the Governor and/or legislature with a retention vote every two years.

Again, I want to remind Republican Minnesota that EMILY's List does not engage in nor endorse any sort of infanticide as is implied in his "baby killing" comment. Maybe when you grow up you can articulate your thoughts without gross exaggeration and partisanship.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm not the last anon poster, I'm the one before, the lawyer one, just so we don't get too confused here.

The hard-core Republican lawyer one.

Why do you think that my negative opinion of elected judges proves me to be a liberal? I'm not - not even close.

Don't you get it? Campaigning judges can come from DFL ranks, too, and then we're really screwed.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger PleaseGodNotHillary said...

Precisely. That is why this makes many of us dyed-in-the-wool conservatives very, very nervous. The end result could well be a good blow to the chops.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Edwin said...

My goodness! You Mr Republican Minnesota should realize that partisan judges are a terrible idea! Minnesota should adopt the so-called Missouri Plan (

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

Sorry Edwin, I didn't realize you had the authority to tell me what I "should realize."


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