Three Minnesota Supreme Court justices are up for election or reelection on Tuesday: Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, Associate Justice Barry Anderson and Associate Justice David Stras. All three are Pawlenty appointees and in my view excellent, indeed model, judges. All three have challengers — the St. Paul Pioneer Press has notes on each of the races — but the races should be no contest. The incumbent justices deserve election or reelection.
I would like to add a personal note. I was Barry Anderson’s classmate at the University of Minnesota Law School. We are long-time friends. I greatly admire him as a man and judge. His campaign motto is “Fairness and integrity.” As applied to him the words are accurate and well chosen. His election site is here; his Facebook page is here.
When Justice Anderson was elevated to the Supreme Court from the Court of Appeals by Governor Pawlenty, he became the third Anderson to sit at the same time on the seven-member court. He joined Associate Justices Paul Anderson (still serving) and Russell Anderson (now retired). I had been thinking it was time for a Johnson (just kidding), but the fact that Governor Pawlenty selected him for appointment was a testament to Justice Anderson’s merit as well as Governor Pawlenty’s spine. The Star Tribune has endorsed Justice Anderson along with the other incumbents. Please don’t hold that against him; in this case they have it right.
I have also gotten to know and like Chief Justice Gildea. She is an excellent judge and delightful person.
Justice Stras served as a law clerk to Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Enough said, but I will add that he is also the Court’s first Jewish justice.
I’ll be voting for all three of the incumbent justices and ask our Minnesota readers to consider doing likewise.
JOHN adds: I endorse everything Scott says. These three justices are eminently worthy of election or reelection. I hope our readers in Minnesota will not only make sure to vote for them–lots of voters skip the judicial elections because they feel they have no sound basis to make a choice, the way I skip over the soil and water commissioners–but, as appropriate, pass on our endorsement to your friends and relatives.