Lorie Gildea

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Lorie Gildea
Gildea Lorie.jpg
Court Information:
Minnesota Supreme Court
Title:   Chief justice
Salary:  $167,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Active:   2006-2018
Chief:   2010-2018
Past post:   Judge, Minnesota Fourth Judicial District
Past term:   2005-2006
Past post 2:   Assistant Hennepin County Attorney
Past term 2:   2004-2005
Personal History
Undergraduate:   University of Minnesota-Morris, 1983
Law School:   Georgetown University Law Center, 1986
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
State:  Minnesota
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Primary date:  August 14, 2012
Primary vote:  49.7%ApprovedA
Election date:  November 6, 2012
Election vote:  60.0%ApprovedA
An interview with Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gildea

Lorie Skjerven Gildea is the chief justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court on January 11, 2006, by Governor Tim Pawlenty. She was appointed to the position of chief justice by Gov. Pawlenty on May 13, 2010. Her current term expires in 2018.[1][2]


Gildea earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota at Morris in 1983 and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1986.[3]


Awards and associations

  • 2001-2004: Member, Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission
  • 2000-2003: Board of Directors, YWCA of Minneapolis
  • 2000-2002: Advisory board, MINNCORR Industries[3]



Gildea was re-elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Chief Justice position. She defeated challenger Dan Griffith in the general election, winning 60% of the vote.[4][5] Another challenger, Jill Clark, was defeated in the August 14th primary.

See also: Minnesota judicial elections, 2012


In the contest for seat 4, incumbent Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea garnered 55% of the vote and defeated Deborah Hedlund, who received 45% of the vote.[6]

See also: Minnesota Supreme Court elections
Candidate IncumbentElection %
Lorie Gildea ApprovedA Yes55%
Deborah Hedlund No44.5%
Richard Gallo No
Jill Clark No


Lawsuit to remove from ballot

Jill Clark filed a petition in early August 2008 seeking to have Gildea's name removed from the September 9 primary ballot. Clark argued that the judicial appointment process that was operative in Minnesota was unconstitutional because it undermined the election process. She was trying to prevent the word "incumbent" from appearing next to Gildea's name. Gildea was appointed to her supreme court seat in 2006 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, which is why she was listed as an incumbent--she had not previously won election to her seat.[9]

The petition to remove Gildea from the ballot had to be considered by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Gildea's colleagues recused themselves, and chief justice Eric Magnuson appointed a special board of five retired justices to adjudicate the case. Three of the five retired justices sitting on the special 5-member board had previously endorsed Gildea's re-election campaign: Sam Hanson, Edward Stringer and Esther Tomljanovich.[10]

Ultimately, Clark's efforts to remove Gildea's name failed at the state and federal level.[11]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Gildea received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.19, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.07 that justices received in Minnesota. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[12]

See also

External links


MinnesotaMinnesota Supreme CourtMinnesota Court of AppealsMinnesota District CourtsMinnesota Problem-Solving CourtsMinnesota Tax CourtMinnesota Workers' Compensation Court of AppealsUnited States District Court for the District of MinnesotaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of MinnesotaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitMinnesota countiesMinnesota judicial newsMinnesota judicial electionsJudicial selection in MinnesotaMinnesotaTemplate.jpg