Dayton and Hudson (
by Steve Timmer
Jul 27, 2016, 10:00 PM

On August 9th, you must all rouse yourselves

And vote for Natalie Hudson in the Minnesota primary

Depending on where you live in the state, you may not think there is much reason to vote in Minnesota’s August 9th primary.

You would be tragically wrong to think that, my friends.

There is one statewide race that is vitally important to the judiciary, the rule of law, and to anybody who thinks we should live by laws made by people, not Moses’ ghostwriter.

I write, of course, about the primary election for Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. There are three contestants: Justice Natalie Hudson, who was appointed to the Court in 2015 by Governor Dayton and must run for re-election, and challengers Craig Foss, a relative unknown — no; I take that back: a complete unknown in the words of Bob Dylan — and well, a known — for all the wrong reasons — Michelle MacDonald.

Justice Hudson has been in the judging business for some time, having been appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2002. She won a new six-year term to the Court of Appeals in 2010. She is well-respected by the members of the bench, including me.

Faithful — and even unfaithful — readers here know that I have written about one of the contestants to replace Justice Hudson, Michelle MacDonald, many times. She ran before, you know, and came within a whisker of knocking off Justice David Lillehaug.

MacDonald attracts the support of the crowd that doesn’t really believe in constitutional government, but rather in a theocracy. She famously whacked herself on the head with a Bible at the Republican state convention a couple of years ago.

Even Keith Downey backed away from MacDonald after she was endorsed by the Republicans. They wouldn’t even let her inhabit the Republican booth at the state fair. Or ride on the Republican airplane. Too heavy, they said.

The Republicans didn’t endorse MacDonald this year.  “Un-huh. No way,” they said.

And if that is not enough — although it should be, my friends — MacDonald orchestrated the biggest family court, excuse my language,  shitshow in the history of Minnesota. As we are learning more about every day, MacDonald barged into the middle of a custody dispute and used it to promote her view that family courts were unconstitutional. Well, the Bible told her so.

I have more than a passing knowledge of the record in the case, and I think Michelle MacDonald, not the family court judge, presided over the complete wrecking of a family, including the abetting of the disappearance of two of the children in the family for over two years.

The sad denouement of the case is taking place as I write this, with the trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, charged with spiriting away two of her children and hiding them from their father and the court.

It is difficult for me to think of a person less qualified to sit on Minnesota’s highest court. Her contempt for our judicial institutions is palpable. But she has her supporters, and they are febrile and committed, which is why you all need to get out and vote for Justice Hudson in the primary.

So please, either show up on election day, or vote early (you don’t even have to make up an excuse anymore), or vote absentee, but only if you can get your ballot in on time.

Posterity thanks you. And I do, too.

Update: At about 10:30 this morning, July 28th, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was convicted of six felony counts of deprivation of parenting and custody rights of another, her former husband, by a Dakota County jury.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.