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David R. Stras


David Stras became an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court on July 1, 2010. He served continuously until he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, on January 31, 2018.  

Prior to his appointment, Justice Stras was a member of the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School from 2004 through 2010.

He taught and wrote in the areas of federal courts and jurisdiction, constitutional law, criminal law, and law and politics. In addition, Stras was co-director of the Institute for Law and Politics at the University of Minnesota. His law review articles have appeared in many academic journals, including the Cornell Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Northwestern Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, and the Minnesota Law Review. He has also served as of counsel to the law firm of Faegre & Benson LLP in their appellate advocacy group.

Justice Stras received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with highest distinction, in 1995 and his Master of Business Administration in 1999 from the University of Kansas. He also received his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1999, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Criminal Procedure Edition of the Kansas Law Review. While in law school, Stras achieved a number of academic honors, including election to the Order of the Coif.

Following law school, Stras clerked for The Honorable Melvin Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for The Honorable J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

From 2001 to 2002, he practiced white-collar criminal and appellate litigation with the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. Following his year in practice, he clerked for The Honorable Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Selected Publications: 

David R. Stras, Why Supreme Court Justices Should Ride Circuit Again, 91 Minn. L. Rev. 1710 (2007).

David R. Stras & Ryan W. Scott, An Empirical Analysis of Life Tenure: A Response to Professors Calabresi & Lindgren, 30 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 791 (2007)

David R. Stras and Ryan W. Scott, Navigating the New Politics of Judicial Appointments. Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 102, No. 4, 2008; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-13. 

David R. Stras, The Supreme Court's Declining Plenary Docket: A Membership-Based Explanation, 27 Const. Comment. 151 (2010).

David R. Stras, Secret Agents: Using Law Clerks Effectively, 98 Marq. L. Rev. 151 (2014).

David Stras Portrait
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