of Administrative Hearings File No. OAH 71-0320-33929
M. Baker, Katherine M. Swenson, Karl C. Procaccini,
Christopher L. Schmitter, Greene Espel PLLP, Minneapolis,
Minnesota (for respondents Barbara Linert, et al.)
G. Kaardal, Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota (for relator)
Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for
respondent Office of Administrative Hearings)
Considered and decided by Bjorkman, Presiding Judge; Cleary,
Chief Judge; and Bratvold, Judge.
Stat. § 211B.02 (2016), which prohibits candidates from
knowingly making false claims of support or endorsement, is
not facially overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.
challenges an order issued by the Minnesota Office of
Administrative Hearings (OAH) determining that she violated
Minn. Stat. § 211B.02, arguing OAH lacked jurisdiction
and that the statute is unconstitutionally overbroad. We
2016, relator Michelle MacDonald was a candidate for the
Minnesota Supreme Court. During her campaign, she sought the
endorsement of the Republican Party of Minnesota (the RPM),
which had endorsed her during her unsuccessful 2014 campaign.
Prior to the RPM's 2016 state convention, MacDonald was
interviewed by the party's judicial-election committee.
The committee is authorized to recommend candidates for
endorsement by the RPM but does not itself endorse
candidates. The committee voted 20-2 to recommend
MacDonald's endorsement to the RPM. The RPM ultimately
decided not to endorse any candidate in the Minnesota Supreme
Court race. MacDonald therefore did not receive the RPM's
October 18, 2016, the Star Tribune published a "Voter
Guide" with profiles of candidates running for various
state offices, including MacDonald. The profile was based on
information submitted by MacDonald. The
"Endorsements" section indicated that MacDonald
received an endorsement from "GOP's Judicial
Selection Committee 2016." On October 21, MacDonald
requested that the claimed endorsement be removed from her
candidate profile. The Star Tribune removed the endorsement.
Barbara Linert and Steven Timmer (Linert) subsequently filed
a complaint with OAH. They alleged that, in claiming the
judicial-election committee endorsed her, MacDonald violated
Minn. Stat. § 211B.02. An administrative-law judge (ALJ)
found probable cause to believe that MacDonald violated the
statute. Following an evidentiary hearing, a panel of three
ALJs determined that MacDonald violated the statute by
knowingly claiming ...