Opinion editor’s note: The Star Tribune Editorial Board operates separately from the newsroom, and no news editors or reporters were involved in the endorsement process.
He’ll continue to add important voice to the state Supreme Court.
On the flip side of their 2020 ballot, Minnesota voters will find their choices for judgeships. The most important of these choices this year, the only contested statewide judicial race, gives voters an opportunity to elect a veteran public servant with exceptionally broad and deep experience to a full term on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Associate Justice Paul Thissen has earned the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s endorsement.
Thissen, 53, was appointed to the high court in 2018 by Gov. Mark Dayton, following a distinguished 16-year legislative career that culminated in his productive leadership role as Speaker of the House in 2013-2015. As the only current member of the court with direct lawmaking experience, Thissen possesses illuminating perspectives to share with his colleagues.
His legal career has also involved a wide array of clients and concerns, from complex corporate litigation to public defense work and pro bono representation of low-income individuals and nonprofit organizations.
Thoughtful and measured even in his years amid the legislative rough-and-tumble, Thissen will continue to serve the state with distinction.
Challenging Thissen is Michelle MacDonald, 58, a private family law attorney making her fourth bid for a Supreme Court seat. MacDonald has a history of controversy and legal trouble, including charges of professional misconduct that led to her law license being suspended by the Supreme Court two years ago. Her background and temperament do not measure up to comparison with the incumbent’s.