MN Supreme Court Candidate On Losing End Of Two Rulings

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Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald.

Bill Sorem

Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald.

Republican party endorsed candidate for Minnesota’s Supreme Court Michelle MacDonald complaint against her party was dismissed on Tuesday. A few hours later her request to allow TV cameras into her DWI trial was also dismissed.

MacDonald alleged that members of the Republican Party’s Executive Committee disseminated false campaign material and attempted to “induce her to refrain from being a candidate.” An administrative hearings judge ruled that she did not have a case because even if what she said was true, it would not have been a violation of the law.

Her complaint said members of the committee sent delegates a memo that she says contained “false material concerning her personal and political character and her actions.”

The complaint says The memo was prepared by “a group of conservative lawyers” and was addressed to the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Executive Committee. It expresses the author’s “deep concern” about Ms. Macdonald’s candidacy. It identifies Ms. MacDonald’s “lack of respect for law enforcement and the rule of law,” citing her upcoming criminal trial on allegations of third-degree refusal to take a sobriety test, fourth-degree DWI, and resisting arrest. The memo also asserts that Ms. MacDonald is unfit to sit on the State’s highest court.

No cameras in DWI trial

MacDonald goes on trial for the DWI September 15 in Dakota County. Today she asked Judge Leslie Metzen to allow television cameras into the courtroom saying it was part of her sixth amendment rights. MacDonald’s attorney Stephen Grigsby argued that her sixth Amendment rights included transparency by allowing cameras and that there was adequate precedence for camera’s covering trials.

Rosemount City Attorney Ben Colburn argued that a Dakota County Chief Judge order in 2005 stated that cameras may be allowed in the courtroom if both parties agreed, and the prosecution does not agree. He also claimed extreme influence on the solemn decorum of the court proceedings. Judge Metzen denied the request for cameras and stated that the 6th amendment right is a limited right.

MacDonald told The UpTake the judge’s ruling was “unconstitutional” and said a camera would not be disruptive because there would only one camera that would stream out to the public.

Above: video interview with Michelle MacDonald
Below: ruling from the administrative court:


Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

One thought on “MN Supreme Court Candidate On Losing End Of Two Rulings

  1. Given that Judge Leslie Metzen was the first chair of the Guardian ad Litem Board and Michelle MacDonald being the founder of Family Innocence, wouldn’t Metzen’s ruling be a conflict of interest? What is more concerning to me is Metzen’s statement that the Sixth Amendment is a limited right. As a scholar of law I have never heard of our constitutional rights being limited. I now have more concern for the corruption in our state court system then ever before. I put my support behind Michelle MacDonald.