Martin A. Nelson

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Martin A. Nelson (21 February 1889 - 22 May 1979) was an American lawyer and judge from Minnesota. He served as a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.


Nelson was born in Hesper township, Winneshiek County, Iowa and received his early education there. He later moved to Minnesota and earned his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law (then the St. Paul College of Law) in 1916. During World War I, Nelson served as an aviator and aviation instructor at American air training fields.


Nelson obtained the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1934 and 1936, but lost both general elections to Floyd B. Olson and Elmer A. Benson, respectively. In 1942, he was an independent candidate for the United States Senate from Minnesota, receiving 14.4% of the vote and coming in third place. In 1944, he was appointed a state court district judge in Austin, Minnesota. Governor C. Elmer Anderson appointed him to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1953, where he served until his retirement in 1972. Nelson's fight to remain on the court despite his advanced age (he finally retired at eighty-two) spawned the law mandating retirement for state judges at the age of seventy.[1]


  1. ^ Justice Martin A. Nelson Obituary (Star Tribune)

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