North Dakota Distinctives

By VandeWalle, Gerald W. | Albany Law Review, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

North Dakota Distinctives


VandeWalle, Gerald W., Albany Law Review


The North Dakota court system is the only state court in the nation that has not made cuts due to budget woes, according to the November/December 2012 issue of the Council of State Governments' Capitol Ideas. (1) While part of this can be attributed to the state's diversified, and currently booming, economy, (2) credit must also go to actions the Court has taken over time to modernize and streamline the judicial system. The Court has relied on its dedicated personnel and has leveraged technology to efficiently and effectively provide judicial services to urban centers and sparsely populated rural areas. (3) Even in lean times the Court has resisted cuts and managed to deliver high-quality judicial services to the citizens of the state.

As an agrarian state, populous ideals undergird the formation of state government and influenced the Court's creation and workings. These populous underpinnings are apparent in some of our Court's distinctives, such as the supermajority requirements, the broad right to appeal, and the election of justices. Now to some of the distinctives:

Constitutional supermajority. The North Dakota Constitution requires at least four of the five members of the Court to declare a legislative enactment unconstitutional. (4)

Certiorari. Appeals to the North Dakota Supreme Court are of right and not by certiorari. Reflecting its populous roots, the North Dakota Constitution allows the legislature to confer on the people a broad right to appeal and it has done so by statute. (5)

Court Elections and Selection. Supreme Court justices and District Court judges are elected on no-party ballots. Justices serve ten-year terms and judges serve six-year terms. (6) The Supreme Court has five justices; all cases are decided en banc. (7) Forty-four judges presently comprise the District Court bench, (8) At statehood, judicial elections were partisan. Following a particularly nasty and bruising 1906 campaign for Supreme Court Justice, the laws were changed to provide that all judicial elections are non-partisan. (9) Today incumbent justices or judges are seldom challenged for reelection.

Courts and the Legislature. The judicial budget is submitted directly to the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, without review by the governor. For the last forty years, near the beginning of the session, the chief justice has been invited to deliver a "State of the Judiciary" speech to a joint session of the legislative assembly. (10) The Court enjoys a cooperative relationship with the assembly, as evidenced by the trust and respect each branch tenders toward the other branch.

Chief Justice. One of the early steps in modernizing the Court system was changing how the chief justice is selected. Prior to 1967, the chief justice was the justice with the shortest time left on his term; generally this resulted in a different chief justice every two years. (11) Now, and perhaps unique to North Dakota, the chief justice of the Supreme Court is elected by vote of the Supreme Court Justices and trial court judges. (12) The chief justice must be chosen from among the justices of the Supreme Court and serves for five years or until his current term as justice expires. (13) The chief justice may be re-elected and has no term limits; he may resign as chief justice without giving up his role as a justice. (14) The current chief justice has held that position for twenty-one years and has been on the Court for thirty-five years. (15) In addition to judicial duties, the chief justice serves as the administrative head of the unified court system.

Continuity. Continuity is a hallmark of the Court. The Court began in 1889 as a three-member Court and was expanded to a five-member Court in 1909. (16) Since statehood, only fifty-one justices have served on the Court; six justices have served on the Court for twenty-five to thirty-nine years. (17) The current Court has sat together for over seven years and the Court has had only one new justice in the last fourteen years, (18) Court personnel also stay with the court system--turnover rates are low. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

North Dakota Distinctives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.