Courthouse or school? (
by Steve Timmer
Dec 23, 2012, 2:30 PM

My order’s bigger than your order!

Judge against Judge!

Here’s the lede from a Strib story on Sunday:

A behind-the-scenes gun rights battle is pitting one judge against another who wants to protect himself with a weapon in his [the?] Anoka County courthouse [courtroom?].

In a bold move, John Dehen issued an order granting himself permission to bring a concealed weapon into any of his district’s courthouses, a direct violation of a 2003 court order banning guns. John Hoffman, the district’s chief judge, quickly trumped him with an order to re-enforce the ban.

And then Dehen re-issued his order. Swell.

John Dehen was elected to the bench in the 10th Judicial District in 2010, unseating a judge who had been a judge in the district for 26 years. But Dehen was an outstanding choice for the job, with a great judicial temperament. Well, except for the two restraining orders against him for roughing up a woman and a child, apparently his own.

Joe Olson, gun lover and minor academic, is quoted in the linked article:

They are in a really murky area here,” Olson said.

I don’t believe there is an agreement by all the judges in the district that they give up power to the chief judge.

The term “I don’t believe” really means “I don’t know.” But it didn’t stop Joe from advancing his preferred view. Joe, what’s your belief on whether Judge Dehen can vacate the restraining orders against him?

The reason this is of more than passing interest is that in the (unlikely) event that the Grand Vizier of Guns, Tony Cornish, gets his way and teachers are authorized by state law to carry guns in classrooms, this will be an issue replayed in school districts around the state. Imagine that a teacher gets a permit to carry in schools, but the principal or school board doesn’t allow it. Who prevails?

Well, I put that exact question to Cornish in an email. He acknowledged receipt of the email, but refused to answer the question. It could be written either way, of course, but the gun enthusiasts will undoubtedly prefer to err on the side of more guns.

I put some other questions to Rep. Cornish as well — also unanswered — that we will get to in the fullness of time.

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