In Minnesota legal circles, there is already speculation about a push for a constitutional amendment that would, in part, mimic the federal system of judicial appointment. Whether that movement can gain political traction remains an open question.
But if it doesn't, the Joyce Foundation's Hansen has a word of warning. By further opening the process to the public, he says, the judiciary may well become less populist. "I fear you are going to wind up with a court system dominated by the fixed, less nuanced views of interest groups that will throw their weight around to get judges elected."
Hennepin County District Court Judge Kevin Burke: Not worried