Jensen to take over as ND Supreme Court chief justice

BISMARCK — Justice Jon Jensen will take over the top spot on the Supreme Court just a few years after being appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum. He handily defeated Justice Lisa Fair McEvers in a runoff election for the position at the state Capitol on Thursday, Dec. 12.


Jensen will sign an oath of office to take over the position on Jan. 1, 2020. The 54-year-old said he intends to run for a new 10-year term in November 2020, which would allow him to stay on the court. He has never been elected by the general population.


For more than a quarter century, only Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle has sat in the middle chair on the bench. The longest-serving chief justice in the country announced in September that he would not pursue another term in the top spot but will stay on the court. The 86-year-old VandeWalle has served in the role since 1993 and on the court since 1978.