Keeping Politics out of MN Courts, Why You Could See a Const. Amendment Next Year

By KBJR News 1

November 12, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2012 at 10:51 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Imagine if judicial candidates on the ballot were affiliated with political parties.

That's the case in many states, but not in Minnesota.

The League of Women Voters hosted a discussion about the issue tonight with spokespeople from the Minnesota Coalition for Impartial Justice to keep politics out of the courtroom.

In some states, coalition spokespeople say judges speak openly about political biases and are funded by those who may have an agenda during their term.

One League member says it is likely the next Legislature could bring up a constitutional amendment to protect the courts from politics.

"We know from other states' experience that having a political influence and the influence of money in the judiciary can be detrimental to people's faith in the impartiality of the court," said Nancy Batrud.

She says most Minnesotans believe politics in the courtroom would compromise fairness.