Minn. chief justice visits area

Published 11:14 am Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea asks for a show of hands Monday near the start of her presentation at the Noon Kiwanis Club’s weekly meeting. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

ALBERT LEA — If people want protection from the courts, they must become vocal supporters of the courts, said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea.

“Justice is not an option in Minnesota. It is an obligation. It is a first principle,” Gildea said.

The native of Plummer, a town of less than 300 people in Red Lake County, spoke to the weekly meeting of the Noon Kiwanis Club at the American Legion Club. It was Constitution Day.

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Gildea, a former University of Minnesota legal counsel, faces challenger Dan Griffith of International Falls in the chief justice election on Nov. 6.

She described how the courts system suffered three years of cuts prior to her becoming the chief justice in 2010. This caused delays in cases and difficulty in handling the caseload.