Minnesota Supreme Court
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Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court
Seal of Minnesota-alt.png
EstablishedMay 24, 1858 (1858-05-24)
LocationSaint Paul
Composition methodNonpartisan election, appointment by the governor if filling midterm vacancy
Authorized byMinnesota Constitution
Judge term length6 years (mandatory retirement at the age of 70)
Number of positions7
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief Justice
CurrentlyLorie Skjerven Gildea
SinceJuly 1, 2010
Jurist term endsJanuary 6, 2025
Seal of Minnesota-alt.png

politics and government of

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 58) Tim Pawlenty 44 (as an associate justice) January 11, 2006 (as an associate justice) 14 years, 1 month
(4 years, 5 months as an associate justice)
(9 years, 7 months as chief justice)
January 6, 2025 October 31, 2031
48 (as chief justice) July 1, 2010 (as chief justice)
1 Barry Anderson October 24, 1954 (age 65) Tim Pawlenty 49 October 13, 2004 15 years, 4 months January 6, 2025 October 31, 2024
3 David Lillehaug May 22, 1954 (age 65) Mark Dayton 58 June 3, 2013 6 years, 8 months January 4, 2021 May 31, 2024
6 Natalie Hudson January 13, 1957 (age 63) Mark Dayton 58 October 26, 2015 4 years, 3 months January 2, 2023 January 31, 2027
2 Margaret Chutich June 18, 1958 (age 61) Mark Dayton 57 March 17, 2016 3 years, 11 months January 6, 2025 June 30, 2028
5 Anne McKeig February 9, 1967 (age 53) Mark Dayton 49 August 31, 2016 3 years, 5 months January 6, 2025 February 28, 2037
4 Paul Thissen December 10, 1966 (age 53) Mark Dayton 51 May 14, 2018 1 year, 9 months January 4, 2021 December 31, 2036

Sources: [7][8]


See also


  1. ^ "Supreme Court" (PDF). Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 7". Minnesota Constitution. Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 8". Minnesota Constitution. Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "Minnesota Statutes 2013, section 490.121, subdivision 21d". Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "Minnesota Statutes 2013, section 490.121, subdivision 1". Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ Lopez, Ricardo (June 28, 2016). "Dayton selects McKeig as next Supreme Court justice". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ "State Judiciary" (PDF). 2017-2018 Minnesota Legislative Manual (Blue Book). Minnesota Secretary of State. pp. 369-70. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Supreme Court Justices". Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved 2019.

External links

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

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