Minnesota Supreme Court

The Minnesota Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Minnesota and consists of seven members. 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, and justices are now elected to six-year terms unless a mid-term vacancy occurs, in which case the governor appoints a replacement to finish the term. Justices have a mandatory retirement age of 70. Most vacancies occur during a term and are filled by the governor. The most recent election to an open seat on the court was in 1992, when former Minnesota Vikings player Alan Page was elected.

Appeals from the Minnesota District Courts went directly to the 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 1 in eight cases. 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 court hears cases in the Supreme Court's chamber of the Minnesota State Capitol or in the nearby Minnesota Judicial Center.

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... The Minnesota Supreme Court, which has final authority over how the Bill of Rights is interpreted, has given conflicting signals about when the state Bill of Rights should be ... of speech, or of the press." Despite the affirmative protections of Section 3, the Minnesota Supreme Court has elected not to interpret it any differently than the ... The court's most recent case was State v ...

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