|Members Present |
Brian Neugebauer, Chair
Judge Zane Anderson
Judge John Greenwood
U.S. Magistrate Karen Klein
Sen. Tim Mathern
Lisa Fair McEvers
Justice Dale Sandstrom
Sen. Steve Tomac
|Members Absent |
Referee Robert Freed
Judge Richard Grosz
Judge Debbie Kleven
It was moved by Evan Lips, seconded by Wayne Sanstead, and carried unanimously that the minutes be approved.
Review of Judicial Improvement Program Draft
Chair Neugebauer provided an update regarding presentation of the draft proposal to the June Judicial Conference. The draft, he said, had been distributed to all judges in advance of the Judicial Conference for review. He said a few comments indicated that the proposal was unnecessary since judges stand for election every six years. Notwithstanding these comments, he said, the reaction to the proposal among the judges present was generally positive. He said the purpose of this meeting is to review the draft [Attachment B (June 27, 2002)], determine whether any changes should be made, and then reach a conclusion concerning whether the proposal should be approved for submission to the Supreme Court.
In response to a question from Sen. Mathern concerning the next step in the process, Justice Sandstrom said if the proposal is submitted to the Supreme Court, the proposal may then be distributed for comment and a hearing may be scheduled.
Evan Lips noted that confidentiality of the process may become an issue with the media.
It was moved by Sen. Mathern, seconded by Magistrate Judge Klein, and carried that the proposal be approved and submitted to the Supreme Court for its consideration. (Tom Kuchera - no).
Staff mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court had recently released an opinion, Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, that held unconstitutional a part of the Minnesota's code of judicial conduct which limited what a candidate for judicial office may say during a judicial election. He said the ramifications of the opinion are unclear and the Judicial Conference's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has requested background research on its possible import for North Dakota's Canon 5 provisions. He said the matter may be presented to this Committee at some point for consideration of possible amendments to Canon 5.
In response to a question from Magistrate Judge Klein, staff said Committee members would be advised of the Supreme Court's response to the judicial improvement program proposal.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.
Jim Ganje, Staff