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The Governor has the constitutional responsibility to appoint judges and justices when vacancies arise on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Courts. The Governor also appoints the Chief Judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings and the judges of the Tax Court and Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. Selecting judges to enforce and interpret the law is one of the Governor’s most important duties. We encourage applications from those committed to equal justice under law.

Application Process

An attorney may become a judge by being elected or appointed by the Governor. Appointed judges must stand for election district-wide in the next general election that is more than one year after the swearing-in date (Minnesota Constitution Article VI, § 8). An elected judge’s term is six years. Please find here the application procedures for District Court Judges.

To receive announcements and updates related to judicial appointments, please fill out this form. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor at

Judicial District Map_white BGThere are ten judicial districts within Minnesota. Judicial district offices oversee the operational functions (human resources, finance, IT, training) for district courts within each judicial district. District Court applicants must reside within the judicial district they apply for at the time of application.

Commission on Judicial Selection

The Commission on Judicial Selection solicits, considers, and recommends candidates to the Governor for vacancies in the District Courts and the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. The Commission is tasked with identifying candidates with “integrity, maturity, health if job related, judicial temperament, diligence, legal knowledge, ability and experience, and community service.” The Commission is comprised of nine at-large members, including the Chair, and four district members from each of the ten Judicial Districts. The Commission’s members are appointed by the Governor and Minnesota Supreme Court. More information about the Commission’s members can be found here.

Current Judicial Vacancies


Judicial Appointments News

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