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 Minnesota Judicial Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Composition method Nonpartisan election, appointment by the governor if filling midterm vacancy
Authorized by Article VI, Minnesota Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length Six years with mandatory retirement at the age of 70
Number of positions 7
Website Official Website
Chief Justice
Currently Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Since July 1, 2010 (2010-07-01)
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The Minnesota Supreme Court is the supreme court of 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 of 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]

In June 2016 Governor Mark Dayton appointed Anne McKeig (White Earth Ojibwe) to the Supreme Court, to replace Justice Dietzen, who is retiring in August 2016. She is the first Native American to serve on the state Supreme Court. She has served as a judge on the state bench since 2008.[6][7] With her appointment, the court has a majority of women members. This is the second time it has had such a majority; the first was in 1991.[7][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 54) Tim Pawlenty 44 (as an associate justice) January 11, 2006 (as an associate justice) 10 years, 7 months
(4 years, 5 months as an associate justice)
(6 years, 1 month 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 61) Tim Pawlenty 49 October 13, 2004 11 years, 10 months January 7, 2019 October 31, 2024
5 Christopher Dietzen March 8, 1947 (age 69) Tim Pawlenty 60 February 19, 2008 8 years, 6 months January 2, 2017 March 31, 2017
4 David Stras July 4, 1974 (age 42) Tim Pawlenty 35 July 1, 2010 6 years, 1 month January 7, 2019 July 31, 2044
3 David Lillehaug May 22, 1954 (age 62) Mark Dayton 58 June 3, 2013 3 years, 2 months January 4, 2021 May 31, 2024
6 Natalie Hudson 1957 (age 58–59) Mark Dayton 58 October 26, 2015 9 months January 2, 2017 2027
2 Margaret Chutich June 18, 1958 (age 58) Mark Dayton 57 March 17, 2016 5 months January 7, 2019 June 30, 2028

Sources: [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. ^ a b Konnie LeMay, "Bad Science Made Her Do It; That Is Become a Supreme Court Justice", Indian Country Today, 18 July 2016; accessed 19 July 2016
  7. ^ a b Shaymus McLaughlin, Melissa Turtinen and Simeon Lancaster, "Anne McKeig: The 1st American-Indian on the MN Supreme Court", Bring Me the News, 28 June 2016; accessed 19 July 2016
  8. ^ "Minnesota Supreme Court" (PDF). 2013–2014 Minnesota Legislative Manual (Blue Book). Minnesota Secretary of State. pp. 351–352. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]

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