Judicial election reform opponents speak at Capitolby Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Some tea party activists are speaking out against a move in the Minnesota Legislature to put an end to contested judicial elections.
The proposal would put a constitutional question to voters, asking whether the current system that allows for contested judicial elections should be replaced.
Backers of the proposed change say a better, less political approach would be to put judges through public performance reviews, and then allow voters to determine whether they should remain on the job.
Opponents of the move, including tea party organizer Toni Backdahl, say without contested elections, citizens would be left out of the system.
"We keep giving all of our power, the people's power, over to a select group -- who, by the way doesn't always appear to be non-biased -- and then we end up giving away our liberties," said Backdahl.
Backers of the proposed change say if contested judicial elections are not stopped, wealthy people and special interests will have too much control over the judiciary.