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Appeals Court Rejects Judicial Elections Challenge

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to Minnesota rules for electing judges and its mandatory retirement age for judges.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that since the plaintiffs lost in Minnesota state courts earlier, only the U.S. Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review the case. A three-judge panel sent the case back to U.S. District Court for dismissal.

The plaintiffs — Heather Robins, Jill Clark and Greg Wersal — challenged Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s decision to appoint Lorie Gildea as chief justice instead of putting the position up for election. They also asked the courts to block the designation of incumbents on ballots in judicial races. And they said the mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges also interfered with voters’ rights to elect judges.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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