North Dakota Supreme Court
LocationBismarck, North Dakota
Composition methodNon-partisan election
Authorized byConstitution of North Dakota
Appeals toSupreme Court of the United States
Judge term length10 years
Number of positions5
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief Justice
CurrentlyJon J. Jensen
Lead position ends2025
Jurist term ends2030

The North Dakota Supreme Court is the highest court of law in the state of North Dakota. The Court rules on questions of law in appeals from the state's district courts.

Each of the five justices are elected on a no-party ballot for ten year terms, arranged such that one seat is contested every two years. The Chief Justice is elected from the Justices every five years (or upon vacancy) by vote of the Supreme Court justices and the District Court judges.

The Supreme Court is empowered to constitute a Court of Appeals consisting of a three-member panel chosen from active and retired District Court judges, retired Supreme Court justices, and lawyers. The Court of Appeals only hears cases specifically assigned to it by the Supreme Court, which is done only infrequently.

Under Article 6, Section 4 of the North Dakota Constitution, The North Dakota Supreme Court "shall not declare a legislative enactment unconstitutional unless at least four of the members of the court so decide."[1] North Dakota and Nebraska are the only two states that require a supermajority of state Supreme Court justices to rule a legislative provision unconstitutional.


Main articles: List of North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justices and List of justices of the North Dakota Supreme Court

Current composition

Justice Born Term start Next election Appointing governor College Law school
Jon J. Jensen, Chief Justice 1965 (age 56–57) August 15, 2017[a] 2030 Doug Burgum (R) Minnesota State North Dakota
Gerald W. VandeWalle (1933-08-15) August 15, 1933 (age 88) August 15, 1978[b] 2024 Arthur A. Link (D) North Dakota North Dakota
Daniel J. Crothers (1957-01-03) January 3, 1957 (age 65) June 2005 2022 John Hoeven (R) North Dakota North Dakota
Lisa K. Fair McEvers 1961/1962 (age 59–60) January 1, 2014 2028 Jack Dalrymple (R) North Dakota North Dakota
Jerod E. Tufte (1975-04-09) April 9, 1975 (age 47) January 1, 2017 2026 n/a Case Western Arizona State
  1. ^ Associate Justice from August 15, 2017 to January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ Chief Justice from January 1, 1993 to December 31, 2019.


  1. ^ "North Dakota Constitution - ARTICLE VI JUDICIAL BRANCH" (PDF).