The recent appointment of Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras to the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals by President Donald Trump begs the question, how will his seat be filled?
There are two scenarios. In the case Stras is not confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will remain in his position on the bench.
However, should Stras take the bench in St. Louis, Minnesota will be a justice short. The Minnesota Supreme Court is made up of seven justices, one Chief Justice and six Associate Justices.
A vacancy left by Stras for an indeterminate amount of time could lead to an even split, a situation that the United States Supreme Court faced for more than a year following the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.