as introduced - 80th Legislature (1997 - 1998) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, 1.3 article VI, sections 7 and 8; providing for 1.4 appointment of judges by the governor from candidates 1.5 submitted by the judicial selection commission; 1.6 providing for retention elections of judges; amending 1.7 Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 2.722, subdivision 1.8 4; 204B.06, subdivision 4; 204B.08, subdivision 3; 1.9 204B.34, subdivision 3; 204D.14, subdivision 2; 1.10 480A.02, subdivisions 3 and 5; and 480B.01, 1.11 subdivisions 1, 10, and 11; repealing Minnesota 1.12 Statutes 1996, sections 204B.06, subdivision 6; and 1.13 204B.36, subdivisions 4 and 5. 1.14 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.15 ARTICLE 1 1.16 Section 1. [CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.] 1.17 An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article VI, 1.18 sections 7 and 8, is proposed to the people. 1.19 If the amendment is adopted, article VI, section 7, will 1.20 read: 1.21 Sec. 7. The term of office of all judges shall be six 1.22 years and until their successors are qualified. They
shallmay 1.23 be electedretained in office by the voters from the area which 1.24 they are to serve in the manner provided by law. 1.25 and article VI, section 8, will read: 1.26 Sec. 8. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of judge 1.27 or a judge is not retained in office by the voters, the governor 1.28 shall appoint in the manner provided by law a qualified person 1.29 to fill the vacancy until a successor is elected and2.1 qualifiedoffice from candidates nominated by a commission on 2.2 judicial selection. The successor shallperson so appointed may 2.3 be electedretained in office by the voters for a six year term 2.4 at the next general election occurring more than one year after 2.5 the appointment. 2.6 Sec. 2. [SCHEDULE AND QUESTION.] 2.7 The amendment shall be submitted to the people at the 1998 2.8 general election. The question submitted must be: 2.9 "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide 2.10 that judges be appointed by the governor from candidates 2.11 nominated by a commission on judicial selection and that judges 2.12 be retained in office by the voters? 2.13 Yes ....... 2.14 No ........" 2.15 ARTICLE 2 2.16 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 2.722, 2.17 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 2.18 Subd. 4. [DETERMINATION OF A JUDICIAL VACANCY.] (a) When a 2.19 judge of the district court dies, resigns, retires, oris 2.20 removed from office, or is not retained in office, the supreme 2.21 court, in consultation with judges and attorneys in the affected 2.22 district, shall determine within 90 days of receiving notice of 2.23 a vacancy from the governor whether the vacant office is 2.24 necessary for effective judicial administration or is necessary 2.25 for adequate access to the courts. In determining whether the 2.26 position is necessary for adequate access to the courts, the 2.27 supreme court shall consider whether abolition or transfer of 2.28 the position would result in a county having no chambered 2.29 judge. The supreme court may continue the position, may order 2.30 the position abolished, or may transfer the position to a 2.31 judicial district where need for additional judges exists ,2.32 designating the position as either a county, county/municipal or2.33 district court judgeship. The supreme court shall certify any 2.34 vacancy to the governor, who shall fill it in the manner 2.35 provided by law. 2.36 (b) If a judge of district court fails to timely file an 3.1 affidavit of candidacy and filing fee or petition in lieu of a 3.2 fee, the official with whom the affidavits of candidacy are 3.3 required to be filed shall notify the supreme court that the 3.4 incumbent judge is not seeking reelection. Within five90 days 3.5 of receipt of the notice, the supreme court shall determine 3.6 whether the judicial position is necessary for effective 3.7 judicial administration or adequate access to the courts and 3.8 notify the official responsible for certifying the election3.9 resultsgovernor of its determination. In determining whether 3.10 the position is necessary for adequate access to the courts, the 3.11 supreme court shall consider whether abolition or transfer of 3.12 the position would result in a county having no chambered 3.13 judge. The supreme court may continue the position, may order 3.14 the position abolished, or may transfer the position to a 3.15 judicial district where the need for additional judgeships 3.16 exists. If the position is abolishedcontinued or transferred, 3.17 the election may not be held. If the position is transferred,3.18 the court shall also notify the governor of the transfer. Upon3.19 transfer, the position is vacant andthe governor shall fill it3.20 the position in the manner provided by law. An order abolishing3.21 or transferring a position is effective the first Monday in the3.22 next January.3.23 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 204B.06, 3.24 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 3.25 Subd. 4. [PARTICULAR OFFICES.] Candidates who seek 3.26 nomination for the following offices shall state the following 3.27 additional information on the affidavit: 3.28 (a) for United States senator, that the candidate will be 3.29 30 years of age or older and a citizen of the United States for 3.30 not less than nine years on the next January 3 or, in the case 3.31 of an election to fill a vacancy, within 21 days after the 3.32 special election; 3.33 (b) for United States representative, that the candidate 3.34 will be 25 years of age or older and a citizen of the United 3.35 States for not less than seven years on the next January 3 or, 3.36 in the case of an election to fill a vacancy, within 21 days 4.1 after the special election; 4.2 (c) for governor or lieutenant governor, that on the first 4.3 Monday of the next January the candidate will be 25 years of age 4.4 or older and, on the day of the state general election, a 4.5 resident of Minnesota for not less than one year; 4.6 (d) for supreme court justice, court of appeals judge, or4.7 district court judge, that the candidate is learned in the law;4.8 (e)for county, municipal, school district, or special 4.9 district office, that the candidate meets any other 4.10 qualifications for that office prescribed by law; and 4.11 (f)(e) for senator or representative in the legislature, 4.12 that on the day of the general or special election to fill the 4.13 office the candidate will have resided not less than one year in 4.14 the state and not less than six months in the legislative 4.15 district from which the candidate seeks election. 4.16 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 204B.08, 4.17 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 4.18 Subd. 3. [NUMBER OF SIGNATURES.] The number of signatures 4.19 required on a nominating petition shall be as follows: 4.20 (a) For a state office voted on statewide or for United 4.21 States senator, one percent of the total number of individuals 4.22 voting in the state at the last preceding state general 4.23 election, or 2,000, whichever is less; 4.24 (b) For a congressional or judicial districtoffice, five 4.25 percent of the total number of individuals voting in the 4.26 district at the last preceding state general election, or 1,000, 4.27 whichever is less; 4.28 (c) For a county or legislative office, ten percent of the 4.29 total number of individuals voting in the county or legislative 4.30 district at the last preceding state or county general election, 4.31 or 500, whichever is less; 4.32 (d) For a municipal office in a city of the first class, 4.33 the number specified in section 205.121; and 4.34 (e) For any other municipal or school district office, ten 4.35 percent of the total number of individuals voting in the 4.36 municipality, ward, school district, or other election district 5.1 at the last preceding municipal, or school district if 5.2 applicable, general election, or 500, whichever is less. 5.3 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 204B.34, 5.4 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 5.5 Subd. 3. [JUDICIAL ELECTIONS.] When one or more justices 5.6 of the supreme court or judges of the court of appeals or of a 5.7 district , county or county municipalcourt are to be nominated5.8 at the same primary or electedon the retention ballot at the 5.9 same general election, the notice of election shall state the 5.10 name of each justice or judge whose successor is to be nominated5.11 or elected. 5.12 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 204D.14, 5.13 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 5.14 Subd. 2. [UNCONTESTED OFFICES.] County offices for which 5.15 there is only one candidate and judicial retention questions 5.16 shall appear after all contested county offices on the canary 5.17 ballot. Judicial offices for which there is only one candidate5.18 shall appear after all contested judicial offices on the canary5.19 ballots.5.20 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 480A.02, 5.21 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 5.22 Subd. 3. [ELIGIBILITY.] By January 1, 1984, one seat on 5.23 the court shall be designated for each congressional district. 5.24 Only persons who have resided in that congressional district for 5.25 at least one year shall be eligible for election orappointment 5.26 to that seat. A judge who is elected orappointed to a 5.27 congressional district seat shall continue to be eligible for 5.28 that seat without regard to any subsequent change of residence. 5.29 All other seats shall be without restriction as to residence. 5.30 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 480A.02, 5.31 subdivision 5, is amended to read: 5.32 Subd. 5. [DESIGNATION OF JUDGES.] After each 5.33 reapportionment, the chief judge shall designate a judge for 5.34 each of the new congressional districts. The chief judge shall 5.35 first redesignate the incumbent judges serving for the old 5.36 congressional districts. If only one of them was, at the time 6.1 of original election orappointment, resident at a place within 6.2 a new congressional district, that judge shall be designated as 6.3 serving for that district. If two or more of them were 6.4 residents at the time of initial election orappointment in 6.5 places which are within the same new congressional district, the 6.6 judge whose district was in the opinion of the chief judge most 6.7 substantially related to the new district shall be designated as 6.8 serving for the new district and the other shall be designated 6.9 as serving at large. If there is then any new congressional 6.10 district for which there is no designated judge, but there is an 6.11 incumbent at-large judge who was resident within that territory 6.12 at the time of initial election orappointment, that judge, or 6.13 the senior of them, if there is more than one, shall be assigned 6.14 to the district seat. If there then remains any new 6.15 congressional district for which there is no designated judge, 6.16 there shall be no judge designated to serve from that district 6.17 until the next at-large vacancy arising by death, retirement, 6.18 resignation, or removal, which shall be filled by appointment of 6.19 a person from that congressional district. 6.20 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 480B.01, 6.21 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 6.22 Subdivision 1. [JUDICIAL VACANCIES.] If a judge of the 6.23 district court, court of appeals, supreme court, or workers' 6.24 compensation court of appeals dies, resigns, retires, oris 6.25 removed during the judge's term of office, or is not retained in 6.26 office by the voters, or if a new district or workers'6.27 compensation court of appealsjudgeship is created, the 6.28 resulting vacancy must be filled by the governor as provided in 6.29 this section. 6.30 Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 480B.01, 6.31 subdivision 10, is amended to read: 6.32 Subd. 10. [NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC.] Upon receiving notice 6.33 from the governor that a judicial vacancy has occurred or will 6.34 occur on a specified date, the chair shall provide notice of the 6.35 following information: 6.36 (1) the office that is or will be vacant; 7.1 (2) that applications from qualified persons or on behalf 7.2 of qualified persons are being accepted by the commission; 7.3 (3) that application forms may be obtained from the 7.4 governor or the commission at a named address; and 7.5 (4) that application forms must be returned to the 7.6 commission by a named date. 7.7 For a district court vacancy, the notice must be made 7.8 available to attorney associations in the judicial district 7.9 where the vacancy has occurred or will occur and to at least one 7.10 newspaper of general circulation in each county in the 7.11 district. For a court of appeals, supreme court, or workers' 7.12 compensation court of appeals vacancy, the notice must be given 7.13 to state attorney associations and all forms of the public media. 7.14 Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 480B.01, 7.15 subdivision 11, is amended to read: 7.16 Subd. 11. [NOMINEES TO GOVERNOR.] Within 60 days after the 7.17 receipt of a notice of a judicial vacancy, the committee shall 7.18 recommend to the governor no fewer than three and no more than 7.19 five nominees for each judicial vacancy. The names of the 7.20 nominees must be made public. The governor mayshall fill the 7.21 vacancy from the nominees recommended by the commission. If the7.22 governor declines to select a nominee to fill the vacancy from7.23 the list of nominees, or if no list is submitted to the governor7.24 under this subdivision, the governor may select a person to fill7.25 the vacancy without regard to the commission's recommendation.7.26 If fewer than 60 days remain in the term of office of a governor7.27 who will not succeed to another term, the governor may fill a7.28 vacancy without waiting for the commission to recommend a list7.29 of nominees.7.30 Sec. 11. [REPEALER.] 7.31 Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 204B.06, subdivision 6; 7.32 and 204B.36, subdivisions 4 and 5, are repealed. 7.33 Sec. 12. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 7.34 This article is effective upon ratification of the 7.35 constitutional amendment in article 1.