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State of Minnesota

History of Reform Efforts: Minnesota

Active Organizations

League of Women Voters Minnesota
The League of Women Voters of Minnesota supports the current judicial selection system, with certain modifications: judicial candidates should be required to have at least five years experience as a practicing attorney; the state should publish voter information on judicial candidates; and the governor should be required to appoint judges from the nominees provided by the commission on judicial selection. The league is opposed to allowing candidates to accept and use political party endorsements and to removing the incumbency designation from judicial ballots. In 1998, the league published a study of Minnesota's judicial selection process, Choosing Minnesota's Judges: An Examination of the Present System and Alternative Proposals. In 2001, the league sponsored a program entitled "Selecting Judges in Minnesota" in conjunction with the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Minnesota Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary
This commission, chaired by Governor Al Quie, is an independent citizens group composed of individuals of diverse backgrounds in law, politics, business, labor, and academics. The commission was created in February 2006 to review and make recommendations concerning the method of selection of Minnesota's state court judges. The commission released its final report and recommendations, available online, in March 2007.

Minnesota State Bar Association
In 2000, the MSBA adopted a resolution urging political parties to stay out of judicial elections, describing party endorsements as a "significant threat to judicial independence and impartiality and to public confidence in the integrity of the judicial system." The bar formed a judicial elections committee to study the process and make recommendations for change.

Minnesotans for Impartial Courts
Minnesotans for Impartial Courts is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation dedicated to keeping Minnesota’s courts independent and accountable by preventing special interest, partisan consideration, and campaign contributions from influencing the selection and retention of Minnesota’s judges.