Douglas K. Amdahl
|Douglas K. Amdahl|
|Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court|
|Nominated by||Al Quie|
|Preceded by||Robert Sheran|
|Succeeded by||Peter S. Popovich|
|Born||January 23, 1919
|Died||August 24, 2010
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota
William Mitchell College of Law
Amdahl was raised in the small town of Mabel in southeastern Minnesota. Amdahl served in World War II in the Army's Signals Intelligence Service as a cryptologist within the European theatre. He served as a judge in Hennepin County from 1961 to 1980.
While chief justice, Amdahl was a leader in establishing the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which was created in 1983. Prior to that, if a person believed a district judge erred in a ruling, the only avenue for appeal was the state supreme court. With a three-year backlog of cases at the time, the creation of the appeals court enabled a quicker resolution to cases and provided additional oversight in the judicial process.
Amdahl sponsored the construction of the Hennepin County government center located in downtown Minneapolis. As a Hennepin County chief judge, he cut the ribbon, recommended the design of the judicial chambers, and tirelessly campaigned for funding. He also pushed for a new building on the Minnesota Capitol mall to be dedicated to the judicial branch. Once the appeals court was established, it needed a place to work and hear cases. At the time, the supreme court worked in the east wing of the state capitol, but there was no room for additional offices or chambers for the appeals court. The Minnesota Judicial Center was completed in 1992.
- Jessica Thompson, Minnesota Law & Politics, "Minnesota's Legal Hall of Fame"
- The 100 Most Influential Minnesota Lawyers of All Time – Mpls-St. Paul Magazine: August 2007
- "Chief Justice Douglas Amdahl: The best of the legal profession" video on YouTube
- "Former Minn. Chief Justice Amdahl dies" – Star-Tribune: August 25, 2010
- "Douglas Amdahl, former justice, dies" – Pioneer Press: August 25, 2010
- Lori Sturdevant: "Amdahl created a rich legacy" – Star-Tribune: August 25, 2010