MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In campaign 2020 we hear a lot about the races for President, U.S. Senate and Congress, but also at stake this November is a spot on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Incumbent Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen is facing perennial Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald who in her four runs for the high court has faced repeated controversies.
“All I can say is it is fake news, my record speaks for itself,” MacDonald said.
In 2013, MacDonald was convicted of refusing to submit to a sobriety test and obstructing the legal process — both misdemeanors.
In the aftermath of her Representation of Sandra Grazzini Rucki, a Lakeville Mom convicted of hiding her daughters from their father, MacDonald was sanctioned by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
“In 2018 the Minnesota Supreme Court suspended your law license to practice for 60 days and put you on supervised probation for two years, do you really think you should be on the Minnesota Supreme Court,” WCCO’s Esme Murphy asked.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” MacDonald replied. “I have great credentials, I have been practicing law for 33 years.”
Her opponent, the incumbent Justice Paul Thissen, sees it differently.
“She has been convicted of obstructing the legal process, the Supreme Court has suspended her license to practice law,” Justice Thissen explained.
Thissen says his own background as a former Minnesota legislator gives him perspective on Minnesota laws.
“I understand practically how legislators think about stuff,” Thissen said.
We turned to political and legal expert Professor David Schultz.
“The fact that she has not been convicted of a felony, she is still entitled to run for office and she has run for Minnesota Supreme Court before and garnered quite a few votes,” Schulz said.
In past Minnesota Supreme Court races, MacDonald has received as much as 47% of the vote and more than 800,000 individual votes. This time she is looking to win.