Archive for October, 2014

Recent Questions about my Judicial Philosophy

Posted in Life in the Country on 28, October 2014 by nathanbusch

A reader has recently posed three queries. My response follows.

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Thank you for your queries. I shall answer these in turn. As a preliminary matter, the Canons of Judicial Ethics prohibit me from speaking as to how I might rule on a particular issue in any given case. Also, I view the job of a District Court Judge to be only the following: to apply the law as written to the facts as presented in making a decision in a case.

1. Would a defendant be allowed to use the US Constitution as part of his/her defense in your courtroom?

Answer: It is a basic principle of our judicial system that any party may base part or all of his or her case upon the United States Constitution. To answer your query to any further extent requires that I attempt to decipher your query.

Assuming that you are making reference to a defendant in a civil case and the other party was not a governmental institution, you could raise the issue that some action has been done in contravention to the United States Constitution. However, the United States Constitution does not govern the actions between private individuals.

Assuming that you are making reference to a defendant in a criminal case. Of course, you could raise the issue that some statutory provision or some action of a governmental institution was in contravention to the United States Constitution. You should recognize that it is not for a District Court Judge to determine whether a statutory provision violates the United States Constitution. The District Court Judge is bound by the decisions of the higher courts as to whether some statutory provision, or any action by a governmental institution, comports with the Constitution. If a party believes that a governing statutory provision, or an action by a governmental institution, violates the United States Constitution, then the course of action is to appeal the decision of the District Court Judge.

2. In your courtroom is a defendant entering into a court of; Common Law, Equity Law or Admiralty Law?

Answer: Your question is ambiguous because you have not defined whether the defendant is in a civil case or in a criminal case. Also, you are conflating either systems of law or types of law with the type of the court. The short answer is: none of the above; in this state, the State District Court has original jurisdiction over almost all types of cases, including many types of cases that could be brought in Federal Court.

3. The legal citizens of this Republic are granted the right to freely “travel” the roads of this nation, falling under the pursuit of happiness. If one is not engaged in the act of commerce, why are we being stopped, detained, arrested, incarcerated and fined for engaging in the act of travel? If there is no injured party or damaged property involved in the traffic stop, isn’t the stop an intrusion on the right to travel. All these laws are an attempt to generate revenue for the state and law enforcement agencies, it has nothing to do with public safety. They are overlapping the commercial driving code on top of traveling rights and that is wrong and it should stop.

Answer: I invite you to read the Preamble to the United States Constitution. “Pursuit of Happiness” is not found there nor is the “Right to Travel”. I also invite you to read the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The United States Constitution permits Congress to regulate interstate commerce. The policing of public highways is not mentioned in the United States Constitution: therefore, that power is left to the states. Thus, the states have the right to say what you can and cannot do whilst on a public highway.

The accurate answer to your question is as follows: you are asking a question regarding the policies of the State of Minnesota pertaining to travel over public highways. The Judiciary does not make policy, it does not make laws, it does not execute the laws. The Judiciary has only the power to say what the law is; that is, to interpret the laws. The judges are authorized only to apply the law as written to the facts as presented. All questions about the policies of the State of Minnesota, which are embedded into the laws of this state, should be taken to the legislature.

I hope that this helps.

Nathan A. Busch

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I am Running for Judge in the Fifth Judicial District Because …

Posted in Life in the Country on 13, October 2014 by nathanbusch

Several things that I would like to bring forth.

First, I am an average Joe attorney working hard for my clients in Southwest Minnesota. I have given more than 2500 hours of free service, which is called pro bono, to indigent clients over the course of the last 12 years that I have been in private practice. I make my living protecting the rights of my clients when those rights have been infringed by other people. I advocate for justice to those who have been injured or wronged. I have represented both democrat and republican clients without regard to their political ideology. I give generously of my time and talents to my community: including chastising the City Council of Windom for not providing proper facilities to the volunteer fire department; and, when the City Council unfairly sanctioned the Chief of the Fire Department. It has always been my goal to work behind the scenes to help people rather than to seek self-aggrandizement.

Second, I am running for Judge in the Fifth Judicial District because I believe that I can do more good in society, at this point in my life, by being a judge than I can by being an attorney. My life experience has allowed me to be in, and therefore, understand the position of many of the people who will appear before me. I have a broad and deep knowledge of, and experience working in, the law which I will bring to the bench. I seek neither power nor attention: rather, I seek only to advance the cause of justice and to protect and respect the constitutional rights of all people.

Third, I have seen the inside of the judicial appointment process as it currently exists in the State of Minnesota. It cannot be questioned that judges “shall be elected by the voters from the area in which they are to serve.” I contend that the current appointment process, which involves an examination of the political ideology of the candidate for appointment, violates the clear mandate of the Minnesota Constitution. Sure, one might argue, judges are listed on the ballot. But how fair of an election can it be when every sitting judge on the ballot has the word “Incumbent” beside his or her name? The use of that word is unique to the judicial election part of the ballot. The word “Incumbent” implies that the sitting judge was “elected” by the voters, even though very few sitting judges were actually chosen to be on the bench by the voters. By no stretch of the imagination can an interim judge, who was appointed by the Governor, be an “Incumbent” judge. By using the word “Incumbent,” the State of Minnesota has erected a very high and steep barrier to any potential challenger. For these reasons and others, the State of Minnesota has created an election process, which is euphemistically called a “retention election”, that, except in very rare cases, has only the name of the sitting judge on the ballot. Such an election is nowhere near a fair election.

I have run a squeaky clean campaign, the three goals of which are: (1) to educate the voters that the State of Minnesota has restricted their right to choose their judge; (2) to educate the voters that they do have the right to vote for judges; and, (3) to provide the voters of the Fifth Judicial District with a viable candidate for Seat 5 who has demonstrated competence in and knowledge of the law and who has a deep and broad life experience. I am self-funding my campaign because I want to utilize my time making my case to the voters rather than filling out paperwork for the State of Minnesota. I have no Political Action Committee supporting my campaign. I have no contributors to my campaign. I have not been endorsed by any party or entity.

I am just a simple guy trying to make a difference in this world.

My campaign is about the voters putting a qualified judge on the bench. If you, the voter, care about your rights and the rights of the residents of Southwest Minnesota, you should assist my candidacy by voting for Nathan Busch.

Nathan A. Busch

I Will Keep my Judicial Campaign Clean

Posted in Life in the Country on 11, October 2014 by nathanbusch

I am committed to the ideal that campaigns must be a discussion about the merits of two, or more, candidates for a public office. If one of the candidates for that office takes the tactic of getting down in the mud and slinging that mud at the other candidate, then that candidate has demonstrated that he or she is unfit for the office sought. If a candidate needs to sling mud in order to be voted into an office, then it is to be expected that that candidate will do nothing more than sling mud once in office.

I believe that the general public expects their judges to conform to a standard much higher than that of holders of other public offices. It is for that reason, as well as my own guiding principles, that I have run a squeaky clean campaign for Judge in the Fifth Judicial District. My goals in this campaign are as follows: (1) to educate the public about how the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Legislature have taken away the right of the public to choose who are the judges in this State; (2) to educate the public about how the judicial elections have been manipulated to strongly discourage competition and a free and fair election for the bench; (3) to inform the public about my qualifications to be a judge in the Fifth Judicial District; and, (4) to put out to the public my judicial philosophy so that the public knows how I will view cases that come before me.

My past writings, both on this Weblog and elsewhere, demonstrate my deep understanding of the law, my perspective on the role of the judiciary in both our government and the broader society, and my judicial philosophy. My campaign has been, and will remain, only positive because I am confident that the general voting public has the intellect to evaluate a person on his or her merits. That is the sole reason for my writings, my Weblog, my campaign materials, and my advertisements.

I call on all candidates to likewise show respect for the voting public.

Nathan A. Busch