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Appeals court: Moorhead judge's ruling lacked 'judicial neutrality'


ST. PAUL (KFGO-AM) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has struck down a ruling by a district judge from Moorhead who was recently disciplined for not following the law.

A three-judge panel says Judge Steven Cahill should not have dismissed a drunken driving-related charge against Ronald Chasingbear of Moorhead. The panel says Cahill incorrectly ruled that Chasingbear had a constitutional right to refuse a blood-alcohol test.

The judges’ opinion says Cahill "did not honor the legal principles and standards" that should have governed his decision. The judges also expressed concern about Cahill's "apparent lack of judicial neutrality."

Earlier this year, the state board of judicial standards reprimanded Cahill for issuing rulings contrary to state law. Cahill has acknowledged that he has problems and is "trying to be a better judge."

Three people are hoping to unseat Cahill in next week's primary.  They include Assistant Clay County Attorney Cheryl Duysen, and Moorhead attorneys Terry Graff and Ken Kohler.