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Voter's Guide: Minnesota Supreme Court

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Michelle MacDonald2 / 2

Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice

Margaret Chutich

Age: 60.

Employment: Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Public office experience: Minnesota Supreme Court (Associate Justice, Appointed March 2016) Minnesota Court of Appeals (Appointed February 2012; Elected 2014).

What do you want to accomplish if elected? I would continue to work hard to ensure that all who appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court are heard with respect and treated fairly. I would author opinions that are written in plain language so that the public will know exactly why the court reached the result that it did.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will come to each case without an agenda, political or otherwise, and with an open mind. I will listen closely to all points of view before carefully making up my mind based on the applicable law and pertinent facts. I will be an independent jurist deciding cases in an unbiased, nonpartisan, and fair manner. My work—the 299 opinions that I authored on the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the more than 30 opinions authored on the Minnesota Supreme Court—shows that I write clearly and simply, in a respectful manner to the parties and my colleagues.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am the best candidate for this seat because I understand first-hand the challenging and meaningful work of the court. Six years of appellate experience, combined with my broad legal background, sets me apart. I have the intellectual ability, curiosity, and work ethic to succeed in mastering diverse areas of the law. I value collegiality and civility, and I enjoy working with my colleagues to arrive at a just resolution. I have shown that I am an impartial and nonpartisan jurist, and that I will decide cases in an even-handed manner, without fear or favor.

Michelle MacDonald

Age: 56.

Employment: Attorney; Restorative Justice facilitator. MacDonald Law Firm LLC, St.

Paul/Minneapolis (1987 to present). Founder, volunteer president of Family Innocence, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping families out of court (2011 to present).

Public office experience: Hennepin County District Court, Small Claims Court Judge (1999 to 2014) Hennepin County Family Court, adjunct referee (1992 to 2011).

What do you want to accomplish if elected? I will make our judges accountable to the people of Minnesota. As a judge in the highest judicial office of Minnesota, I will protect your individual fundamental rights by eliminating the bureaucracy and making certain the Constitution is upheld in the Judicial Branch to restore faith and justice for all.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will—as an individual, an attorney and judge—uphold your fundamental liberty rights in all of my decisions. Judges are regularly failing to uphold the rule of law, the Constitution and due process. As your Supreme Court justice, I will be judging the decisions of lower court judges, and will make certain that their orders are not damaging the people of Minnesota.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? For 30 years, I have helped thousands of you with a variety of legal challenges, before hundreds of judges at every level, including the U.S. Supreme Court. I have asserted constitutional challenges to laws involving private family life, and free speech, and filed civil rights actions. Over the years, I have become more aware of our expensive and abusive "cookie-cutter" system of justice. Appellate courts essentially "rubber-stamp" decisions that damage us. Having witnessed the systematic issues for these many years, as your Minnesota Supreme Court justice, I will make certain there is oversight and reform of our judicial system.

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