Minnesota Supreme Court

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Minnesota Supreme Court
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Established May 24, 1858 (1858-05-24)
Country Minnesota, United States
Location Saint Paul
Composition method Nonpartisan election, appointment by the governor if filling midterm vacancy
Authorized by Minnesota Constitution
Judge term length 6 years (mandatory retirement at the age of 70)
No. of positions 7
Website Official website
Chief Justice
Currently Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Since July 1, 2010
Jurist term ends January 7, 2019
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The Minnesota Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The court hears cases in the Supreme Court chamber in the Minnesota State Capitol or in the nearby Minnesota Judicial Center.


The court was first assembled as a three-judge panel in 1849 when Minnesota was still a territory. The first members were lawyers from outside the region who were appointed by President Zachary Taylor. The state court system was rearranged in 1858 when Minnesota became a state.

Appeals from the Minnesota District Courts went directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court until the Minnesota Court of Appeals, an intermediate appellate court, was created in 1983 to handle most of those cases. The court now considers about 900 appeals per year and the court accepts review in about one in eight cases.[1] Before the Court of Appeals was created, the number of cases handled by the Minnesota Supreme Court amounted to about 1800. Certain types of appeals can go directly to the Supreme Court, such as those involving taxes, first degree murder, and workers' compensation.


The seven justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court are elected to renewable six-year terms.[2] When a midterm vacancy occurs, the governor of Minnesota appoints a replacement to a term that ends after the general election occurring more than one year after the appointment.[3] Most vacancies occur during a term. The most recent election to an open seat on the court was in 1992, when former Minnesota Vikings player Alan Page was elected. Judges in Minnesota have a mandatory retirement age of 70.[4][5]

Anne McKeig, a descendant of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, became the first Native American justice in 2016. Her appointment also marked the second time the court had a majority of women since 1991.[6]


Seat Name Born Appointed by Age at appointment Appointment begin date Length of service Current term end date Mandatory retirement date
Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea October 6, 1961 (age 56) Tim Pawlenty 44 (as an associate justice) January 11, 2006 (as an associate justice) 12 years, 2 months
(4 years, 5 months as an associate justice)
(7 years, 8 months as chief justice)
January 7, 2019 October 31, 2031
48 (as chief justice) July 1, 2010 (as chief justice)
1 Barry Anderson October 24, 1954 (age 63) Tim Pawlenty 49 October 13, 2004 13 years, 5 months January 7, 2019 October 31, 2024
3 David Lillehaug May 22, 1954 (age 63) Mark Dayton 58 June 3, 2013 4 years, 9 months January 4, 2021 May 31, 2024
6 Natalie Hudson January 13, 1957 (age 61) Mark Dayton 58 October 26, 2015 2 years, 4 months January 2, 2023 January 31, 2027
2 Margaret Chutich June 18, 1958 (age 59) Mark Dayton 57 March 17, 2016 2 years January 7, 2019 June 30, 2028
5 Anne McKeig February 9, 1967 (age 51) Mark Dayton 49 August 31, 2016 1 year, 6 months January 7, 2019 February 28, 2037
4 Vacant

Sources: [7][8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Supreme Court" (PDF). Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 7". Minnesota Constitution. Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 8". Minnesota Constitution. Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Minnesota Statutes 2013, section 490.121, subdivision 21d". Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Minnesota Statutes 2013, section 490.121, subdivision 1". Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ Lopez, Ricardo (June 28, 2016). "Dayton selects McKeig as next Supreme Court justice". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  7. ^ "State Judiciary" (PDF). 2015–2016 Minnesota Legislative Manual (Blue Book). Minnesota Secretary of State. pp. 349–350. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Minnesota Supreme Court". Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°57′16″N 93°6′1″W / 44.95444°N 93.10028°W / 44.95444; -93.10028