Saturday, April 11, 2009

So Who Is On The Minnesota Supreme Court?


A few days ago Senate Guru tried figuring out how the Minnesota Supreme Court might rule in the next phase of the frivolous law suit defeated Republican Norm Coleman is likely to pursue against victor Al Franken. First of all Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Justice G. Barry Anderson have recused themselves from any appeal because they both served on the statewide Canvassing Board earlier in the post-election process. Each was an appointee of a Republican governor. So the appeal would be decided on by Justices Alan C. Page, Paul H. Anderson, Helen M. Meyer, Lorie Skjerven Gildea, and Christopher  Dietzen. Senate Guru think Dietzen has the clearest partisan background. He was appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, apparently as a favor after Dietzen served as an attorney for Pawlenty's 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

I checked the Open Secrets record and noticed that Dietzen has donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates-- including to Norm Coleman and the RNC, which is helping to finance the law suits against Franken. Shouldn't he recuse himself too?

Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea was also appointed by Pawlenty. More interestingly, her husband, Andy, is a Republican Party employee and a well-known right-wing partisan operative. He also donated exclusively to GOP candidates, particularly to far right extremist John Kline.

Paul Anderson is also a Republican and was appointed by a Republican governor. Helen Meyer was appointed by Jesse Ventura and her donations were all to Democrats, especially to progressive icon Paul Wellstone. The fifth Justice, Alan Page wasn't appointed but elected, although, as Senate Guru points out, he's a probably Democrat. He hasn't made any campaign contributions.

The farce continues-- which is all the Republicans care about in the end. Meanwhile, on Friday, in a related matter, the Texas trial of one of Coleman's cronies and illegal campaign contributors, Nasser Kazeminy, was put on hold for another month.

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At 8:07 PM, Blogger Jeff Fecke said...

To be fair, Paul Anderson was appointed by Arne Carlson, a very liberal Republican (indeed, Carlson endorsed Franken, and has declared himself an independent since leaving office). Paul Anderson himself has a reputation as a fair and impartial jurist, and between him, Meyer, and Page, there's a majority-sane bent to the court sans Magnuson and Barry Anderson. More to the point, while Gildea and Dietzen are both conservative (as, for that matter, are Magnuson and Barry Anderson), all have behaved honorably. If the GOP was looking for a partisan fix, it wouldn't be hard for Magnuson and Barry Anderson to suddenly find reason to sit for the case. That they haven't is commendable.

Quite simply, as a Minnesotan, I'm very proud of the conduct of everyone so far, with the exception of Norm Coleman. Both Republicans and Democrats alike have been fair and impartial in their deliberations. It's exactly how things are supposed to work, which is why it's so sad that it's so surprising.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Ray Bridges said...

I continue to believe that the Senate will ultimately determine who will be seated from Minnesota, regardless of what either Minnesota Supreme Court of the U.S. Supreme Court says in the matter. It would be very bad for the U.S. Supreme Court to attempt to dictate to the U.S. Senate.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger werddrew said...

Actually I don't think Arne Carlson endorsed Franken. He did, however, endorse Barack Obama.

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what is everyone's to the fact there are more votes then the number of voters who signed in.....oops in Democratic Counties.....and that absentee ballots in Democractic counties were counted when ones in Republican Counties were rejected for the same issues? There tends to be a little hypocrisy going on here


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