Catherine (Kate) McPherson
Family: Married; two children.
Hometown: Coon Rapids.
Education: William Mitchell College of Law; University of Minnesota (master’s degree); University of St. Thomas (bachelor’s degree).
Work experience: Twenty-plus years of public service; sixteen years as a prosecutor in Anoka and Hennepin Counties; experience in a broad range of legal areas which are common in district court, including juvenile, criminal and civil law; adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law three of the past four years; past president of the 21st District Bar Association; ethics investigator of the 21st District Bar Association; volunteer mediator for over 10 years.
1. What makes you the best candidate?
Judges are usually selected for their first term through the Judicial Merit Selection process. Unlike the other candidates, I have been through this rigorous process and recommended as a finalist to the governor three times. Experience matters and I have the experience it takes to make a good judge. I have significant experience in the district court including in criminal, civil, and juvenile areas of law. I am also dedicated to my community, actively volunteering as a mediator and in my church. More information about my qualifications is available at www.kateforjudge.com.
2. How would you as a judge suggest the court system respond to limited or reduced state funding?
We need to be as efficient as possible with limitations on resources. Programs which reduce the district court workload and improve outcomes for litigants must be explored, such as the Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) program in family law. For example, in Anoka County, I co-chair the ENE Advisory Committee and we have found that ENE has dramatically reduced the number of contested temporary hearings. Utilization of alternative dispute resolution in conciliation court matters and other matters will further keep the work load manageable. Reducing the number of continuances in cases as much as possible will also provide greater efficiency.
3. Do you believe judicial candidates should be allowed to discuss political views and be involved in non-judicial politics?
I support keeping judicial elections non-partisan and limiting discussions of political issues and involvement in non-judicial politics. When judges weigh in on political issues and are active in political matters, public confidence is eroded. I do not believe increasing judicial involvement in politics will improve the judiciary or the public’s confidence in the judiciary. In fact, I believe the more political the process becomes, the more distrustful the public will become. We ask judges to set aside their personal opinions and beliefs and follow the law. Judges immersing themselves in politics will not demonstrate to the public their ability to do so.More from around the web