Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, who has served as a Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court for more than 17 years, announced today her plans to retire from that position effective December 31, 2013.
Justice Maring personally delivered Governor Jack Dalrymple her letter of resignation September 17, 2013. In her letter to the Governor, Justice Maring wrote: "It has been my distinct pleasure to have served on the Court for the past 17½ years. I am thankful to former Governor Ed Schafer for appointing me to the Supreme Court in March of 1996 and to the wonderful people of North Dakota who elected me in 1996, 1998, and 2008 to my position on the Court."
Commenting on Justice Maring's retirement announcement, Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle said: "I regret the news that Justice Maring is retiring from her position as Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court. I respect her decision, but we will greatly miss her presence on the Court. Justice Maring has an outstanding work ethic. Her analysis and research on each case that comes before the Court is thorough and detailed. She was the driving force for the establishment of the Juvenile Drug Court. As Chair of the Judicial Education Commission, she has been instrumental in greatly improving the quality of education we provide to our judges and court employees. Her devotion to education does not end with judges and court personnel. Through her efforts, the Justices Teaching Institute was created to raise the level of civic education in North Dakota. Her hand is evident in many other undertakings of the judicial branch. She has been tireless in promoting the rule of law. I personally will miss her guidance and wise counsel, her energy, and her friendship. I wish Justice Maring well in her future endeavors."
On March 1, 1996, Justice Maring was appointed by Governor Edward Schafer to the North Dakota Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Beryl Levine's retirement. On November 5, 1996, she was elected to complete that term, and in November 1998 and 2008, she was elected to ten-year terms as a justice on the North Dakota Supreme Court. Justice Maring brought to the Supreme Court over 20 years of experience practicing law in North Dakota and Minnesota state and federal courts. During her tenure, she has authored more than 700 opinions for the Court, served on numerous committees, and was instrumental in the creation of North Dakota Juvenile Drug Courts and the Justices Teaching Institute. She currently chairs the Joint Procedure Committee, chairs the Judicial Education Commission, chairs the Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Juvenile Policy Board, the Administrative Council, and the Alternatives to Incarceration Interim Legislative Committee.
Governor Schafer's vote of confidence in appointing Justice Maring to the Supreme Court was realized in the passion, vision, and hard work ethic she gracefully devoted to her work on the bench and her unwavering dedication to the rule of law, civility, and public trust in the judicial system.
Justice Maring's resignation will create a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The vacancy will be filled as provided under N.D. Const. Art. 6, § 13, and Chapter 27-25, N.D.C.C. The judgeship will retain Justice Maring's unexpired term, which runs through December 31, 2018. Under the constitutional amendment adopted in 1998, a person appointed to the judgeship would serve until the 2016 general election, and the person elected in 2016 would serve the remainder of Justice Maring's unexpired term.