Sandy Keith

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Alexander MacDonald Keith
Chief Justice of the
Minnesota Supreme Court
In office
December 1, 1990 – January 29, 1998
Appointed by Rudy Perpich
Preceded by Peter S. Popovich
Succeeded by Kathleen A. Blatz
Associate Justice of the
Minnesota Supreme Court
In office
February 1, 1989 – December 1, 1990
Appointed by Rudy Perpich
37th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
In office
March 25, 1963 – January 2, 1967
Governor Karl Rolvaag
Preceded by Karl Rolvaag
Succeeded by James B. Goetz
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 6, 1959 – January 7, 1963
Preceded by Walter Burdick
Succeeded by Harold G. Krieger
Personal details
Born (1928-11-22) November 22, 1928 (age 88)
Rochester, Minnesota
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Spouse(s) Marion E. Sanford

Alexander MacDonald (Sandy) Keith (born November 22, 1928) is a Minnesota lawyer who served as a state senator, the 37th Lieutenant Governor, and an associate justice and chief justice of the state supreme court.

Personal life[edit]

Sandy Keith was born in Rochester, Minnesota to Norman M. Keith and Edna (Alexander) Keith. His father was a physician who practiced medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

He married Marion E. Sanford April 29, 1955.

Education and military service[edit]

Keith graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1950, and from Yale Law School in 1953. He then served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.

Public life and politics[edit]

After returning to his hometown of Rochester, Minnesota, Keith took a job as counsel with the Mayo Clinic, where he worked with future United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

In 1959, he was elected to the Minnesota State Senate as a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). During his tenure as a State Senator, Keith served as a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention. He was Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota under Governor Karl Rolvaag from 1963 until 1967. He challenged Rolvaag for the nomination to be the DFL's candidate for governor in the 1966 general election, but was defeated by Rolvaag in the primary election.

In 1989, Keith began serving as a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He became Chief Justice in 1990 and served in that capacity until 1998. While serving as Chief Justice (having been appointed to the position by (then) Governor Rudy Perpich), Keith handed down a ruling that allowed Arne Carlson onto the ballot as the Republican candidate for governor after Jon Grunseth, the previously endorsed candidate, stepped out of the race for cavorting in a swimming pool with minor girls. Carlson won the election, with Perpich and others blaming Keith for the loss.[citation needed]

Return to private sector[edit]

After retiring from the Minnesota Supreme Court, Keith returned to private practice at Dunlap & Seeger in Rochester where he concentrates on mediating civil and family law disputes. He self-identifies as a Democrat, but has served on the board for the conservative Center of the American Experiment and is outspoken in his endorsement of Republican candidates and policies.[citation needed]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Karl Rolvaag
Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
James B. Goetz
Legal offices
Preceded by
Peter S. Popovich
Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Kathleen A. Blatz
Party political offices
Preceded by
Karl Rolvaag
Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate,
Minnesota DFL State Convention

Succeeded by
Wendell Anderson