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GOP-endorsed Supreme Court candidate fighting drunk driving charge


An attorney endorsed by Minnesota's Republican Party in her bid for the state Supreme Court has a September court date on a drunk driving charge.

State Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey tells the Star Tribune he and most of the delegates at this month's endorsing convention were unaware of the case involving Michelle MacDonald. “She of course is innocent until proven guilty, but at the same time the delegates did not have the full disclosure they should have," Downey told the newspaper.

The Star Tribune interviewed MacDonald, who said she had not been drinking on the night she was pulled over by Rosemount police last year. She faces a gross misdemeanor charge of refusing to take a sobriety test as well as misdemeanor drunk driving and resisting arrest.

MacDonald told the paper the GOP's Judicial Elections Committee was aware of her case and supported her.

MacDonald is challenging Justice David Lillehaug in the November election. Minnesota Lawyer says she was admitted to the bar in 1987 and has a practice in West St. Paul but does not represent private clients.

She specializes in family law and is the founder of the Family Innocence Project.

FOX 9 interviewed her last year for a story about a custody fight. MacDonald represented a woman who had been accused of turning her children against her ex-husband.

Minnesota's "implied consent" law requires motorists suspected of drunk driving to submit to a test of their blood alcohol content. Those who refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test can be prosecuted and have their driver's license suspended for up to a year.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is challenging the constitutionality of that law. Just yesterday the ACLU submitted a brief to the Minnesota Supreme Court arguing that blood alcohol tests are a search and therefore a warrant should be required for them under the terms of the Fourth Amendment.

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