Judge Steve Halsey

It’s In Your Court

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

— Wright County District Court Judge Stephen Halsey authored this article, with quotes from Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Paul Rasmussen, chambered in Clearwater County.

 

 

 

Sun
26
Feb

Rules not made to be broken

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

We all have “pet peeves,” things we observe or have happen to us which are very irritating. It may be the person redeeming lottery tickets at the gas station when you are last in line to pay for your gas. It may be the person on their cell phone during your child’s holiday program at school or dance recital. 

Wed
08
Feb

What are “Executive Orders”?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

One of the issues in the 2016 Presidential campaign was the use of executive orders by then President Obama. An executive order is loosely defined in the dictionary as an order from the President or a federal government agency which has the force of law. In the first 10 days in office, President Trump has issued a number of executive orders. 

Wed
18
Jan

Finding the Truth

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

The New Year brings the start of one of the best extracurricular activities for high school students in Minnesota, the Mock Trial program sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association. A dedicated MSBA committee of judges, lawyers, and other citizens formulate a set of facts and a problem that is studied and rehearsed by high school students and their coaches for many months for pretend trials with competing teams. It could be a criminal case, like the infamous Congdon murder in Duluth, or a traffic accident in which someone was killed, or the discipline of a student for a “spoofing” video mocking the principal. 

Tue
13
Dec

The Constitution protects a free press

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

One of the most frightening images of the recent Presidential election was a man at a political rally in Minneapolis wearing a t-shirt that read “Rope- Tree- Journalist- Some Assembly Required.” It is obvious he either has no knowledge of history or doesn’t care about it. History teaches us that the first targets of a military coup, whether in Africa or South America, are the radio and television stations, and the newspapers. Those seeking to overthrow a government seek to control the dissemination of the truth to the masses. 

Sun
09
Oct

Why Do We Have Statutes of Limitation?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

Over the past few months there has been much discussion in the media about Danny Heinrich who has admitted to the murder of Jacob Wetterling. He cannot be prosecuted for other sex crimes he is believed to have committed during the late 1980’s because of Minnesota’s statutes of limitation on prosecution for such crimes after a certain period of time. So why do we have statutes of limitation?

Sun
02
Oct

Why was that criminal out on bail?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

It happens frequently: a celebrity or their family member is accused of a very serious crime and is not in jail. You wonder, “What is wrong with the police (or the judge) that this criminal is not in jail?” You may have heard TV reporters ask the same question. It was a question on a Twin Cities TV website: do prominent people get special treatment in the courts?

Sun
25
Sep

Are Selfies in the Voting Booth Illegal?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

I have seen several news reports about state laws banning “selfies” in election polling places. These laws vary state by state and, in some states, it’s unclear if “selfies” are banned. United Press International (UPI) reported on Sept. 14, 2016, about a federal action against a law banning “selfies”:

Sun
18
Sep

What judges are not

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

n this space in the past I have discussed what judges do, which is basically determine what the facts are in the case (unless a jury decides the facts) and then apply the law in reaching a final decision. For example, in a court trial with a defendant charged with speeding, the judge must decide if the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant was driving in the county where charged at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit. Judges are a part of the judicial branch of government, one of the 3 branches, the others being the executive and legislative branches. In this article I will discuss what judges are not.

Wed
06
Jul

Sorry to say but this isn’t Mayberry

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

Several years ago we visited the North Carolina small town of Mt. Airy, the model for Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show. Just down the road is Pilot Mountain, which became the town of Mount Pilot in the TV show. In Mt. Airy, there are replicas of Floyd’s Barbershop, the Sheriff’s squad car with the “cherry on top,” and the Snappy Lunch Cafe. Mayberry is a fictional small town that probably never was and never will be. 

Sun
19
Jun

Are the courts one of the last bastions of civility?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

The Election of 2010 was dominated by the negative media blitz and rancor of town hall meetings. It was rather shocking to see a Duluth town hall meeting in 2010 involving Congressional candidates reduced to a shouting match between each candidate’s supporters. Shouts of “liar!” and repeated interruptions of the candidates reduced what could have been a civil exchange of opinions and ideas to a near barroom brawl. In another state, supporters of one candidate stomped on the head of a supporter of the opponent. 

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