|Current Court Information:|
|Minnesota Supreme Court|
|Appointed by:||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Past post:||Judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals|
|Past post 2:||Attorney and partner, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren, Ltd.|
|Past term 2:||1978-2004|
|Undergraduate:||Gonzaga University, 1969|
|Law School:||Gonzaga University School of Law, 1973|
Christopher Dietzen is an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court, a position to which he was appointed in 2008 by Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican. Dietzen was re-elected in 2010 to a term which expires in 2016.
- 2008-2016: Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court
- 2004-2008: Judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals
- 1978-2004: Attorney and partner, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren, Ltd.
Awards and associations
- Member of the Minnesota State Bar Association
- Chair of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure
- Member of the Commission on Judicial selection
- Advisory Committee to Review the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Rules of the Board on Judicial Standards
- See also: Minnesota judicial elections, 2010
Audio of Dietzen's judicial philosophy is available here.
Life without parole not 'cruel and unusual punishment' for teens
In a 5-2 decision, authored by Dietzen, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that sentencing a teen to life in prison without parole does not violate the Constitution's cruel and unusual punishment ban. Two teens, one who was 17 at the time, tried to appeal their conviction for murder, after chasing down another teen and shooting him repeatedly in an alley. The Court cited a Supreme Court of the United States 2005 ruling that overturned a death sentence for a teen but allowed life in prison as the sentence as precedent.
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. Dietzen 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.
- Minnesota Supreme Court, "Associate justice Christopher Dietzen biography
- Open Secrets blog, "Minnesota Senate Case Highlights Potential Conflicts for Judges," April 14, 2009
- TPM.com, "Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Previously Donated to Coleman," April 13, 2009
- Minnesota Judicial Branch, "Judge Profile: Christopher J. Dietzen"
- Minnesota Secretary of State, Judicial Races Live Unofficial Results
- Minnesota Secretary of State, "2010 General Election Results"
- The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, "Minnesota Supreme Court says sentencing juvenile to LWOP is constitutional," October 8, 2009
- Stanford University, "State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns," October 31, 2012
|Former||Russell Anderson • Paul Anderson • Helen Meyer • Eric Magnuson • Sam Hanson • Edward Stringer • Esther Tomljanovich • Sandy Keith • Kathleen Blatz •|