Chief Justice Takes Sides

Gildea (Pool photo by Glen Stubbe)

It was a serious Minnesota Supreme Court hearing that some say could lead to justices interfering with power the state Constitution gives only to the Legislature.

Justice Paul Anderson grilled the Legislature’s attorney about whether a valid voter photo ID could come from private Macalester College, where he graduated.

Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea quickly interjected:

“I think we can say for the record that an ID issued by the University of Minneola Morris is more valid,” proclaimed Gildea, a Morris graduate and former attorney for the university.

The comment drew rare laugher from the high court audience.

Later, one of the attorneys said that he was forced to show a photo ID when appearing in a Kansas City court.

“If the Legislature would give us more money, we could require photo ID with a law license,” Gildea deadpanned.

Throughout the hearing, justices stopped attorneys from answering questions so they could fit in more questions.

Justice Barry Anderson: “I don’t mean to interrupt you, he said as he interrupted you.”

No one offered a theory about why the justices were in an abnormally light mood.