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Minnesota Supreme Court


Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court
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
Chief Justice
Currently Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Since July 1, 2010 (2010-07-01)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

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.


  • History 1
  • Composition 2
  • Members 3
  • Images 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


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]


Seat Name Born Appointed by Age at appointment Appointment begin date Length of service Current term end date Mandatory retirement date
Chief Justice Gildea, Lorie SkjervenLorie Skjerven Gildea October 6, 1961 (age 54) Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty 44 (as an Associate Justice) January 11, 2006 (as an Associate Justice) 10 years, 5 months
(4 years, 5 months as an Associate Justice)
(6 years as Chief Justice)
January 7, 2019 October 31, 2031
48 (as Chief Justice) July 1, 2010 (as Chief Justice)
6 Hudson, NatalieNatalie Hudson (age ) Dayton, MarkMark Dayton September 1, 2015 10 months January 2, 2017
1 Anderson, BarryBarry Anderson October 24, 1954 (age 61) Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty 49 October 13, 2004 11 years, 8 months January 7, 2019 October 31, 2024
5 Dietzen, ChristopherChristopher Dietzen March 8, 1947 (age 69) Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty 60 February 19, 2008 8 years, 4 months January 2, 2017 March 31, 2017
4 Stras, DavidDavid Stras July 4, 1974 (age 41) Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty 35 July 1, 2010 6 years January 7, 2019 July 31, 2044
2 Wright, WilhelminaWilhelmina Wright January 13, 1964 (age 52) Dayton, MarkMark Dayton 48 September 27, 2012 3 years, 9 months January 4, 2021 January 31, 2034
3 Lillehaug, DavidDavid Lillehaug May 22, 1954 (age 62) Dayton, MarkMark Dayton 58 June 3, 2013 3 years January 4, 2021 May 31, 2024

Sources: [6]


See also


  1. ^ "Supreme Court" (PDF). Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 7".  
  3. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 8".  
  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. ^ "Minnesota Supreme Court" (PDF). 2013–2014 Minnesota Legislative Manual (Blue Book).  

External links

  • Minnesota Supreme Court official website

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