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Chief Justice Gildea dismisses recall petitions against 2 legislators who supported gay marriage

Recall petitions had been started against Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, and Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter.

Recall petitions against two DFL legislators who supported gay marriage have been thrown out by Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea.

The recalls had targeted the two legislators from Brainerd-area districts that had supported the failed gay marriage ban.

Reports the Brainerd Dispatch:

[Gildea] dismissed proposed recall petitions against Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, and Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, for “failure to allege specific facts that, if proven would constitute grounds for recall.”

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Under the state Constitution, elected officials are subject to recall for serious malfeasance or nonfeasance, but the two legislators’ actions were not “unlawful or wrongful” conduct, she wrote in the ruling.

The recall petition was launched after Radinovich said he would vote in favor of gay marriage and Ward voted in favor of gay marriage.

Both of their districts had voted last November in favor of the failed constitutional amendment, which would have banned gay marriage. Six months later, the Legislature approved gay marriage in the state.

Doug Kern of rural Brainerd initiated the petition against Radinovich when he said he’d vote in favor of gay marriage and Tony Bauer of Nisswa initiated the petition against Ward after he voted in favor of gay marriage.

Radinovich told the paper that he respects everyone’s right to the democratic process and he and Kern had a difference of opinion on this issue.

Ward said the facts prevailed in the case and the democratic process worked: “I’m very thankful they found the way they did. I respect the opinions of the people who presented the petitions, as well.”