The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 21, 2013

Justice Act would keep Minnesota's judiciary fair

The impartial Justice Act, which will be debated in the Legislature this year, outlines reforms that would keep Minnesota’s judiciary among the fairest and most trusted in the nation.

By advocating retention elections, rather than contested elections, the act would keep partisan politics out of our selection process for judges. It would allow a non-partisan commission appointed by representatives of all three branches of government to recommend to the governor a list of candidates for positions on the bench, based on their merit.

That commission would also provide voters non-partisan information about the performance of sitting judges, including their integrity, impartiality and knowledge of the law. The choice to retain or replace a judge would always be decided by Minnesota voters, based on a judge’s qualifications, not on her or his political or special interest connections or ability to fund-raise.

It is important that private citizens, businesses, organizations and institutions receive objective hearings in Minnesota courts and that judges be held accountable. The Impartial Justice Act is supported by an impressive array of organizations and key advocates representing a broad spectrum of differing points of view. In order to be enacted, it requires an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in the November 2014 election.

As proven in the election of 2012, Minnesotans think carefully before amending their state’s constitution.

Be informed. For more information, visit impartialcourts.org

Edi ThorstenssonTreasurer,

St. Peter Area

League of Women Voters

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