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Judges in Minnesota

The system for selecting judges in Minnesota is governed by law.  Upon being notified by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court that a judicial seat is open, the Governor certifies the opening and notifies the Judicial Selection Commission to announce the open seat and begin the process of accepting and reviewing applications.  For most vacant district court judicial seats, the Judicial Selection Commission receives about 25 applications from interested attorneys. 


The Judicial Selection Commission reviews the applications and normally interviews 10 to 12 of the applicants.  Following the interviews, the Judicial Selection Commission typically forwards the names of three finalists the Governor's office.  The Governor conducts personal interviews with the finalists, eventually appointing a person to fill the seat.  While not legally required, the Governor almost always appoints one of the three finalists who are referred from the Commission.


After appointment, a Judge is required to have his or her seat placed on the ballot for election at the first general election that is more than 12 months after the judge takes office.  Judges, once so elected, then serve a six-year term of office before being required to have their name on the election ballot again.


Judge Galler was appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura on November 4, 2000.  He was sworn in on January 4, 2001 with his good friend District Court Judge Ed Cass administering the oath of office.  Judge Galler successfully ran for election in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020.  He will next be on the ballot for the fall 2026 election.

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