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ND Supreme Court candidate unimpressed with some judges, says he'll 'jack them up' in opinions

BISMARCK - A Bismarck attorney who announced his candidacy for the North Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday said he's not impressed with the quality of some of the state's judges and intends to "jack them up" in his written opinions if elected.

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Bob Bolinske Sr., candidate for North Dakota Supreme Court
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BISMARCK – A Bismarck attorney who announced his candidacy for the North Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday said he's not impressed with the quality of some of the state's judges and intends to "jack them up" in his written opinions if elected.

Robert Bolinske Sr. said he hasn't decided which of the two open Supreme Court seats he will seek.

Justice Lisa Fair McEvers is running for the seat she was appointed to in November 2013, and so far she has no challengers for the unexpired two-year term.

Southeast Judicial District Judge Jerod Tufte is running for a 10-year term on the high court, seeking the seat being vacated by longtime Justice Dale Sandstrom, who is retiring at the end of this year.

It's the first election in 24 years with an open seat on the five-member Supreme Court.

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Bolinske said he will decide which seat to seek before April 11, the deadline for filing petition signatures to get on the June 14 primary ballot.

The 72-year-old said he's running because he's "just not satisfied with the nature of justice being provided to the citizens of North Dakota.

"I'm just not that impressed with the quality of some of the judges, and if elected, it's my intention to jack them up," he said. "If they are lazy and they don't do their jobs, they will read about it in my opinions."

Bolinske is an Oberon native who graduated from Rugby High School in 1962 - which, as he notes on his resume, is the year the school won the state Class A basketball championship, beating a Williston team that featured future NBA player and coach Phil Jackson.

Bolinske earned degrees from the University of North Dakota in 1966 and Harvard Law School in 1969.

He has spent most of his career as a trial attorney, starting the Bolinske Law Firm in Bismarck in 1993 - not to be confused with the other Bolinske Law Firm operated by his son of the same name.

Most recently, Bolinske said he's been consulting with other attorneys on civil cases. He has an office in his home, having lost his law office building after a bout with West Nile virus in 2003 during which he "basically slept for six straight months" and couldn't work. He said the disease damaged the optic nerve of his left eye, but he's physically healthy now.

"I'm strong as a moose and twice as ornery," he said.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
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