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State of Minnesota

Methods of Judicial Selection: Minnesota

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 7
Court of Appeals: 16
District Court: 289
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: -
Court of Appeals: --
District Court: 10
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Appeals: statewide
District Court: district
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: nonpartisan election*+
Court of Appeals: nonpartisan election*+
District Court: nonpartisan election*+
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: reelection
Court of Appeals: reelection
District Court: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: next general election more than 1 yr after appointment
Court of Appeals: next general election more than 1 yr after appointment
District Court: next general election more than 1 yr after appointment
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: nonpartisan election
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment
District Court: peer vote
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 3 yrs
District Court: 2 yrs
Qualifications
Supreme Court: "learned in the law;" mandatory retirement at 70
Court of Appeals: "learned in the law;" mandatory retirement at 70
District Court: "learned in the law;" mandatory retirement at 70

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article VI of the Minnesota Constitution.

*The two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary election are placed on the ballot for the general election.

+Incumbency is designated on the ballot by the word 'Incumbent' underneath the name of the current judge in the position up for reelection.