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Home / Minnesota Legal News / Legal News / Judicial Elections 2012 / Minnesota Supreme Court, Seat 1: Anderson v. Barkley
Coverage of Minnesota Supreme Court judicial election candidates David Stras and Tim Tingelstad.

Minnesota Supreme Court, Seat 1: Anderson v. Barkley

Barry Anderson

BARRY ANDERSON

Date of Birth: October 24, 1954

Education: B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College (1976, Magna Cum Laude); J.D., University of Minnesota Law School (1979)

Employment: Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court (2004-present); Judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals (1998-2004). Partner, Arnold, Anderson & Dove, PLLP (Hutchinson and St. Louis Park), Attorney, Erickson Law Firm (Fairmont).

Professional Associations:  Minnesota State Bar Association, Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota, Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society, Federalist Society

Community Activities: Youth Athletics Coach (basketball, baseball); Rotary (club president, Paul Harris Fellow); church activities; former board chair and president, Hutchinson Community Video Network; moderator, Pioneer Public Television “Your Legislators” program; member and officer, various community boards and organizations.

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, baseball, running.

Family: wife, Louise H. Anderson (former public school band director and church musician), 3 adult children.

Website: www.justicebarryanderson.com

Why did you opt to become a judge?

I have a long record of public service in a variety of roles and I thought, at the time of my appointment to the Court of Appeals in 1998, that judicial service would be an honorable and useful way to continue to serve the public. I was correct.

What is the most important personal quality in a judge?

Impartiality and a sense of fairness are a good place to start, but I would also include curiosity and a willingness to make the necessary commitment of time and effort to be successful.

Why should voters select you rather than your opponent?

My preference would be to focus on my qualifications, which include 14 years of experience as an appellate judge or justice, and almost 20 years as a trial lawyer.

What have been some of your accomplishments during your time on the bench?

I have served, by appointment of three different Chief Justices, on the Judicial Council, the governing body for the Judicial branch. Among the challenges faced by the Council in recent years are setting a realistic budget for judicial services and overseeing the creation of the statewide court payment center. I am currently working on committees dealing with the transition of the judicial branch from a court system based on paper to an electronic environment.  I helped organize and launch the Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary (known as the “Quie Commission,” named after commission chair, former Governor Al Quie). That commission, recognizing a threat to judicial impartiality, made recommendations for improving judicial selection and performance in Minnesota. These policy matters are in addition to my principal duties on the Court, which are to participate in decisions and to author majority and dissenting opinions.

Other than financial resources, what are the major issues facing the court on which you sit or wish to sit?

While the principal issues facing the Court are financial, the Court also will have to manage its own transition to an all-electronic working environment.

How can those issues be realistically addressed?

This process is already under way.

What can the court do to address its funding deficit?

The Judicial Branch will present the reasons for improved funding to the Legislature and the Governor. In addition, both the Minnesota Supreme Court and the judiciary as a whole are constantly working to improve efficiency.

Do you have any suggestions/ideas about the day to day operation of the court?

The Court is always considering ways to improve operations but many of these potential changes are technical, rule oriented or otherwise of limited interest.

What should the court do to promote public trust and confidence in the judiciary?

In the course of my 14 years as a judge, I have spoken to hundreds of groups, both at the Capitol and throughout Minnesota, about the role of the judiciary in our system of government. In addition, in a variety of ways, throughout my professional career, I’ve promoted the importance of civic education, with an emphasis on the judiciary as one of our three branches of government. I intend to continue these efforts.

What else would you like voters to know about your candidacy?

I have enjoyed serving Minnesotans for 14 years as a judge and would like the opportunity to continue my service with another term. I’ve based my decisions on the law, not on policy or politics.

Dean Barkley

DEAN M. BARKLEY

Date of Birth: August 31, 1950

Education:  Bachelor of Science with Distinction, Juris Doctorate of Law (University of Minnesota)

Employment: Self-employed

Professional Associations/ Community Activities:  Humphrey Institute (past board member) Minnesota Compact, Concord Coalition, Youth Football Coach

Hobbies/Interests: Golf, rugby, boating and politics

Family: 2 children, Brooke and Garrett

Website: www.barkleyforjustice.com

Why do you want to become a judge?

I would like to see a truly non-partisan judge on the Supreme Court that will make decisions based solely upon the facts of the case and the existing law. I believe that I would be such a justice.

What is the most important personal quality in a judge?

Honesty and integrity.

Why should voters select you rather than your opponent?

I was not appointed to the bench by the Governor. I am neither a democrat or a republican and I would not be appointed by a democrat or republican governor which would make me much more likely to be a true non-partisan.

What experience have you had in dealing with the court on which you wish to sit?

I have not had a great deal of experience with the Minnesota Supreme Court but I have other life experiences that make me qualified. I have been a practicing attorney in Minnesota for 35 years. I founded Minnesota’s third major political party. I helped found the High School Rugby program in Minnesota. I was a U.S. Senator. I know how to work with others to get things done. I would do the same with the other 6 Justices on the Court.

Other than financial resources, what are the major issues facing the court on which you sit or wish to sit?

Preventing the Court from becoming a partisan body based upon ideology, not common sense.

How can those issues be realistically addressed?

Relaxing the Code of Judicial Conduct in elections to allow candidates to more freely talk about issues and the court itself. Right now the code is very restrictive on what you can say when running for the office.

What can the court do to address its funding deficit?

That is simple. You either ask the legislature for more money or ask permission to raise fees once more.

Do you have any suggestions/ideas about the day-to-day operation of the court?

No.

What should the court do to promote public trust and confidence in the judiciary?

I think the Court by and large is trusted.

What else would you like voters to know about your candidacy?

I believe that I have the experience and temperament to be an excellent Justice of the Supreme Court. I find running for the Court is very different from other races. The fact that you cannot ask others for financial support; you cannot talk about issues that might come before the Court and the fact that your opponent is allowed to use the term incumbent make running against an incumbent a very challenging task. I love a challenge.

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