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Minnesota State Law Library

Minnesota Court of Appeals 40th Anniversary


Appointed in December 1981, Chief Justice Douglas Amdahl led the charge for the new Minnesota Court of Appeals. As he expressed support for a constitutionally created court, other groups voiced their support as well. There were opponents, including former governor Harold Le Vander, who objected to an entire court being appointed by one governor, and Jack Davies, who would go on to be a member of the court, objected to the length of time a constitutional amendment could take. Chief Justice Amdahl met with legislators, judges, lawyers, and people throughout the state to deliver his message and garner support for the constitutional amendment.

"An attorney once joked, 'Where two or three are gathered together, Amdahl has at least one of them telling the other about the virtues of a court of appeals.'" (The First Ten, p.17)

The question went to the voters in November 1982 and the amendment passed with a large majority of votes.