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, appointed by President Zachary Taylor. The court system was rearranged when Minnesota became a state in 1858.

Appeals from 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 accepts review in about one in eight cases.[1] Before the Court of Appeals was created, the Minnesota Supreme Court handled about 1,800 cases a year. Certain 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]

In May 2020, Governor Tim Walz announced the appointment of Nobles County District Judge Gordon Moore, who replaced retiring Justice David Lillehaug.[7]


The salary for the Supreme Court Chief Justice is $205,362 and $186,692 for associate justices.[8]


SeatNameBornAppointed byBegan serviceCurrent term end dateMandatory retirement dateLaw school
Chief JusticeLorie Skjerven Gildea (1961-10-06) October 6, 1961 (age 60)Tim Pawlenty (R)January 11, 2006[a]January 6, 2025October 31, 2031Georgetown
1Barry Anderson (1954-10-24) October 24, 1954 (age 67)Tim Pawlenty (R)October 13, 2004January 6, 2025October 31, 2024Minnesota
2Margaret Chutich (1958-06-18) June 18, 1958 (age 63)Mark Dayton (D)March 17, 2016January 6, 2025June 30, 2028Michigan
3Gordon Moore (1963-04-06) April 6, 1963 (age 58)Tim Walz (D)August 3, 2020January 2, 2023April 30, 2033Iowa
4Paul Thissen (1966-12-10) December 10, 1966 (age 54)Mark Dayton (D)May 14, 2018January 5, 2027December 31, 2036Chicago
5Anne McKeig (1967-02-09) February 9, 1967 (age 54)Mark Dayton (D)August 31, 2016January 6, 2025February 28, 2037Hamline
6Natalie Hudson (1957-01-13) January 13, 1957 (age 64)Mark Dayton (D)October 26, 2015January 2, 2023January 31, 2027Minnesota
  1. ^ Associate Justice from January 11, 2006 to July 1, 2010.

Sources: [9][10]


See also


  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. ^ Montemayor, Stephen (May 16, 2020). “Gov. Walz makes Worthington judge his first Minnesota Supreme Court selection”. Star Tribune. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  8. ^ “Minnesota Judicial Branch – How to Become a Judge”. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  9. ^ “State Judiciary” (PDF). 2017–2018 Minnesota Legislative Manual (Blue Book). Minnesota Secretary of State. pp. 369–70. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  10. ^ “Supreme Court Justices”. Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved January 11, 2019.

External links

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