There’s an old saying, it takes 25 miles to turn a battleship around. The notion is that the ship is chugging so strongly in one direction and it is so heavy that it will continue to head in that same direction, even after the Captain ‘turns the wheel’ to change course. Twenty-five miles of ocean are required, it is said, to get the ship turned around and headed in the other direction.
This is used as a word picture when describing the time it takes to make big change in a big system. The time is takes once the actions that will produce change have commenced, before seeing the evidence of change. Twenty-five miles of ocean before things head in a different direction.
Many people know we need a change in the way the Minnesota Judicial Standards Board works. Many people have believed this for years.
The Minnesota Supreme Court task force meetings and amendments regarding the substantive judicial canons (these are the ethics rules for judges) and the procedural rules for proceedings to discipline judges, occurred years ago (2008). We are watching now, eyes focused on the sea, looking for evidence that the battleship is turning around.
We are real people, whose real lives are being harmed by wayward judges. We want you to focus on us, not on protecting your own.
This should not be hard. Here are some simple rules to follow. Don’t decline to prosecute a judge because doing so may hurt a judge you like in the next election. Don’t play politics like that with our lives. And don’t prosecute a judge maliciously, motivated by wanting to hurt the judge in the next election. Don’t misuse the system like that. It’s got to be about the facts and the law, and it’s got to be about protecting us, the public (and not about you and your friends).
Members of the public have watched some change. A couple of Minnesota judges have been suspended. (I’ll post more about that later.)
But there have been other indicators that the ship is not turning around. (And I’ll post more about that.)
But what about the Captain? Can we turn the battleship around if we keep the same Captain?
Read how Washington County Judge Galler made a strong statement that he was wrongfully charged by the Judicial Standards Board, and that David Paull, Executive Director of the JSB for years, was at the helm and very much part of this when it occurred. (By the way, Galler won his case. This link gets you to the JSB website, where at ‘News’ you can find Galler’s response to charges, and the decision that he’d won.)
Now it’s fair to ask whether Paull is the right Captain as we turn the ship around 180 degrees and head it in another direction. Does he have the right stuff?
We, the public, need change. We need the Judicial Standards Board to be real. We need it to be about getting the bad judges, and not political attacks or fabricated cases on the good judges.
Can we turn the battleship around if we keep the same Captain?
We have our telescope trained on you and we are watching.