II. Meandering into the Twentieth Century
. . .
B. Five-Member Court
The 1889 judicial article authorized the legislature to increase the number of justices to five whenever the population of the state "shall equal 600,000."(149) Before that happened, the legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to increase the number of justices to five.(150) In 1908, while rejecting a companion proposal to increase a justice's term of office from six years to ten,(151) the people approved expanding the Court to five justices.(152)
To fill the two new positions thus created, Governor John Burke, the first Democratic governor of the state, appointed John Carmody (1909-1910) of Hillsboro, the second Democrat to serve on the court, and Sidney E. Ellsworth (1909-1910) of Jamestown.(153) In the November 1910 election, however, two sitting district judges, Edward T. Burke (1910-1916) of Valley City and Evan B. Goss (1910-1916) of Minot, were elected to replace the appointed ones.(154)
149. N.D. Const. art IV, § 95 (repealed 1976).
150. See 1907 N.D. Laws, at 410; 1905 N.D. Laws, at 351.
151. See Lounsberry, supra note 1, at 447.
152. See N.D. Const. art. IV § 89 (repealed 1976); 1907 N.D. Laws, at 410.
153. Lounsberry, supra note 1, at 455; Sketch, supra note 2, at 32-33.
154. See Lounsberry, supra note 1, at 455; Sketch, supra note 2, at 34-35.