The Star Tribune Tabloid recently came out with more biased coverage of the MN Supreme Court race between Michelle MacDonald and Margaret Chutich. “In bid to stay on Supreme Court, Margaret Chutich faces repeat candidate Michelle MacDonald” Dayton appointee Margaret Chutich faces attorney with a history of legal problems. By Stephen Montemayor Star Tribune.
The article states that, “Chutich achieved a distinction when she joined the court more than two years ago as its first openly gay justice.”
In Lambda Legal, Chutich says, “If there are gay attorneys, gay people thinking about going to law school, I think it’s important that they know there aren’t barriers to their dreams,” Chutich told members of the press.
I don’t think gay people have ever thought they can’t be an attorney, a judge, a doctor etc. because of their sexual preference and Chutich seems to be promoting the victim mentality. It also seems to me that Chutich is using sexual orientation for political and economic advancement. A persons gender, race or sexual preference should not matter when appointing a judge or any other position and merit and ability should be the only factors considered in any job.
Montemayor wrote, “MacDonald said she views Chutich’s marital status as her right but cast it as a “liberal view” counter to MacDonald’s conservative philosophy.”
The Star Tribune article goes on to state that MacDonald is running her third campaign for Minnesota Supreme Court. Margaret Chutich also applied three times for an appointment to the state’s high court before Gov. Mark Dayton finally chose her in 2016. Again, the headline was Dayton selects first openly gay judge for state Supreme Court.
The Strib reports that MacDonald had her law license suspended due to professional misconduct, but conveniently left out what the professional misconduct entailed. Michelle MacDonald sued Judge David Knutson on behalf of a client and reported him to the Board of Judicial Standards for unconstitutional actions and violations of constitutional rights that, among other concerns, separated the client from her children and stripped her of all assets and property. Judge David Knutson just happens to be the Vice Chair of the Board of Judicial Standards and retaliated against MacDonald for attempting to hold him accountable.
In a December 26, 2013 letter MacDonald complained about “ongoing retaliation” against herself and her client, warranting investigation. She alleged evidence of improper case assignments, usurping of court files, and failing to report or involve the juvenile court and child protection by Judge Knutson.
On March 11, 2014, she reported that “the retaliation against myself and my client has been continuous, and is overwhelming.”
On January 3, 2017, the Referee issued findings and recommendation, and adopted almost all of the Director’s proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations nearly verbatim.
The Referee found that Ms. MacDonald violated Rule 8 (a) by making made false statements in reckless disregard for the truth concerning the integrity of the judge as follows:
- Respondent’s statement regarding Judge Knutson’s lack of impartiality “since day one” was false and made in reckless disregard of the truth.”
- The “factual allegations” within the federal lawsuit were, in part, false and made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity.
- The Referee found also that “The letters to the BJS include the same complaints made within the federal lawsuit. As with the federal lawsuit, Respondent’s statements were false and made with a reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity.”
- And finally, the referee writes: “Respondent’s on-going statements and “factual allegations” within the federal lawsuit’s Amended Complaint were false and in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity.”
- Consequently, in a conclusion of law, the Referee claims: “The Director has proven by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent’s false statements made with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of those statements about Judge Knutson’s impartiality and integrity in multiple forums violated Rule 8.2(a) (MRPC) and Rule 8.4(d) (MRPC) “(82a)
The federal district court dismissed all of the claims in the complaint, describing them as “futile” and noting that “nothing in the record supports the[m].”
When asked at the disciplinary hearing about the basis for her allegations, MacDonald responded, “[t]he
record speaks for itself.”
From Montemayor’s Strib article, In 2014, the Minnesota Republican Party initially endorsed MacDonald’s high court bid. But the party distanced itself after it learned of a pending drunken driving case. She was eventually acquitted but convicted of refusing to submit to a breath test and obstructing the legal process during her traffic stop.
MacDonald also filed a complaint against the GOP and several party leaders. She alleges the party threatened her and spread false information about her campaign in an effort to get her to exit the race. She said the party was in violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act. Shocker, the complaint was dismissed by a judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings.
In her 2016 run for MN Supreme Court, MacDonald was endorsed by the Republican Selection Committee but inadvertantly stated it was the Election Committee. For this she was also punished.
The Star Tribune stated that, “MacDonald’s bid is again seen as a long-shot by court watchers.”
Clearly this race is not a long-shot or the Establishment wouldn’t be so intent on demonizing and discrediting MacDonald.