Supreme Court Associate Justice State Judicial Office

Elections: 1857-present. The number of Associate Justices of the Supreme Court has changed over the decades beginning with two at statehood (1858-1881), four after a March 1881 legislative act (1881-1930), six after a 1930 constitutional amendment (1930-1972), eight after a 1972 constitutional amendment (1973-1982), and six through attrition after a 1982 constitutional amendment. The original term for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was set at seven years at statehood and the office was nonpartisan. The appointment of a new Associate Justice required the seat be on the ballot at the next annual election occuring more than 30 days following the vacancy. The term for Associate Justice was reduced to six years after a constitutional amendment passed in 1883. Partisan elections for the office were held from 1892 through 1910 with nonpartisan elections returning in 1912. The first primary election for the office was also held in 1912. A 1956 constitutional amendment required that an appointment to the seat trigger a new election one year after the appointment is made.

Most recent elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/03/2020 Supreme Court Associate Justice General Paul Thissen (Nonpartisan) won with 1,477,672 votes (59.05%) and a winning margin of +18.44
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Paul Thissen Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 1,477,672 59.05
Michelle MacDonald Woman Nonpartisan 1,016,245 40.61
Scattering Write-In 8,559 0.34

Thissen was appointed to the Court by Governor Mark Dayton on April 17, 2018 and sworn in on May 14, 2018 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Associate Justice David Stras after being appointed by President Donald Trump to be a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

MacDonald was an attorney from Rosemount, former Hennepin County Conciliation Court Judge (1999-2014), and nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

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11/06/2018 Supreme Court Associate Justice General Margaret Chutich (Nonpartisan) won with 1,054,841 votes (55.88%) and a winning margin of +12.13
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Margaret Chutich Incumbent Woman Nonpartisan 1,054,841 55.88
Michelle MacDonald Woman Nonpartisan 825,770 43.74
Scattering Write-In 7,087 0.38

Associate Justice Chutich was appointed to the Court by Governor Mark Dayton effective March 17, 2016 to fill the vacancy caused by Associate Justice Wilhelmina Wright resignation on February 18, 2016 to accept a judicial appointment by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Chutich was a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge (2012-2016), former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, and former Deputy and Assistant Attorney General. Chutich was the first openly gay jurist to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

MacDonald was an attorney from Rosemount, former Hennepin County Conciliation Court Judge (1999-2014), and nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

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11/06/2018 Supreme Court Associate Justice General Anne McKeig (Nonpartisan) won with 1,571,384 votes (99.20%) and a winning margin of +99.20
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Anne McKeig Incumbent Woman Nonpartisan 1,571,384 99.20
Scattering Write-In 12,615 0.80

Associate Justice McKeig was appointed to the Court by Governor Mark Dayton on September 15, 2016 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Associate Justice Christopher Dietzen resigned on August 31, 2016 due to his reaching the mandatory retirement age in early 2017. McKeig was the first Native American to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court and the first Native American woman to serve on any state's high court. McKeig was a resident of Minneapolis, Fourth Judicial District Judge (2008-2016), and former Assistant Hennepin County Attorney (1992-2008). She was elected without opposition.

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11/06/2018 Supreme Court Associate Justice General Barry Anderson (Nonpartisan) won with 1,582,996 votes (99.14%) and a winning margin of +99.14
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Barry Anderson Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 1,582,996 99.14
Scattering Write-In 13,719 0.86

Associate Justice Anderson was reelected to a fourth term without opposition.

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11/08/2016 Supreme Court Associate Justice General Natalie Hudson (Nonpartisan) won with 1,279,989 votes (58.80%) and a winning margin of +18.02
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Natalie Hudson Incumbent Woman Nonpartisan 1,279,989 58.80
Michelle MacDonald Woman Nonpartisan 887,656 40.78
Scattering Write-In 9,027 0.41
Brad Bearson Man Write-In 14 0.00

Associate Justice Hudson was appointed to the Court by Governor Mark Dayton on October 26, 2015 to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Associate Justice Alan Page on August 31, 2015 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Hudson was a resident of St. Paul, sitting Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge (2002-2015), former St. Paul City Attorney (1992-1994), and former Assistant Minnesota Attorney General (1994-2002). She was the first African-American woman to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

MacDonald was an attorney from Rosemount, former Hennepin County Conciliation Court Judge (1999-2014), and nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2014 and 2018.

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