Earlier this week, Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan issued a district court ruling which struck down multiple Minnesota Statutes that are designed to protect unborn children. Some of the pro-life laws that were blocked include:
- A 24-hour waiting period
- Felony penalties for abortion providers who violate state regulations
- Disclosure of risks when a woman seeks an abortion
- Disclosure of the unborn child’s development when a woman seeks an abortion
- Two-parent notification for minors who are seeking an abortion
These laws, including other restrictions on individuals who perform abortions, were nullified by Judge Gilligan.
This ruling is shameful and immoral. With his decision, Judge Gilligan functionally blocked most restrictions to abortion in Minnesota. As a result, innocent lives will be destroyed. Pro-abortion officials like Judge Gilligan clearly do not care about the sanctity of life or protecting the unborn.
Judge Gilligan is an activist judge that is engaging in activism. The timing of this case couldn’t be any more obvious. Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022, and Judge Gilligan released his decision a little more than two weeks later. If that doesn’t strike you as an activist judge trying to influence or change policy, then I don’t know what does.
In Minnesota, we have a problem with activist judges. Back in June of 2020, Ramsey County Judge Sara Grewing issued a consent decree which blocked longstanding law that governed mail-in ballots, witness signatures for ballots, and when ballots can legally be counted. Her decision illegitimately loosened the statutes that control Minnesota elections.
These activist judges are tearing down and destroying the legitimately passed laws of the Minnesota Legislature. Time and again we see judges demonstrate blatant disregard for the duly elected representatives of the people. The judiciary’s job is not to write the law or decide any policy. That sole responsibility lies with the legislature, and I believe it is time for the Minnesota Legislature to reassert its authority.
Our Founders gave the Minnesota Legislature the responsibility to enforce checks and balances for a reason. This includes checks and balances regarding the judiciary. According to the Minnesota Constitution, the Minnesota House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach judges. Article VIII, Section 2 of the Minnesota Constitution clearly states that district court judges are subject to impeachment. As such, I believe the Minnesota Legislature should use this tool to remove activist judges who throw out legitimate, constitutional laws. This unilateral abuse of power must end.
As your state legislator, I will do whatever I can to make this happen. We need judges that are accountable to the people. If we let the judiciary go unchecked, then individual judges will continue to eliminate our laws and impose their own policies on us.