LAW AND GOVERNMENT OF NORTH DAKOTA

John Burke, 10th Governor of North Dakota
Law and government
As with the federal government of the United States, power in North Dakota is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Executive

The executive branch is headed by the governor. The current governor is John Hoeven, a Republican whose first term began December 15, 2000, and who was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. The current Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota is Jack Dalrymple, who is also the President of the Senate. The offices of governor and lieutenant governor have four-year terms. The governor has a cabinet consisting of the leaders of various state government agencies, called commissioners. The other elected constitutional offices are secretary of state, attorney general, and state auditor.

Legislative
The North Dakota Legislative Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state has 47 districts. Each district has one senator and two representatives. Both senators and representatives are elected to four year terms. The state's legal code is named the North Dakota Century Code.
Judicial
North Dakota's court system has four levels. Municipal courts serve the cities, and most cases start in the district courts, which are courts of general jurisdiction. There are 42 district court judges in seven judicial districts. Appeals from the trial courts and challenges to certain governmental decisions are heard by the North Dakota Court of Appeals, consisting of three-judge panels. The five-justice North Dakota Supreme Court hears all appeals from the district courts and the Court of Appeals.

Regional
There are three Sioux, one Three Affiliated Tribes, and one Ojibwa reservations in North Dakota. These communities are self-governing.
Federal
North Dakota's two United States senators are Democrats Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan. The state has one at-large congressional district represented by Democratic representative Earl Pomeroy. Federal court cases are heard in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, which holds court in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot. Appeals are heard by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Politics
See also: Political party strength in North Dakota and List of political parties in North Dakota The major political parties in North Dakota are the Democratic-NPL and the Republican Party. As of 2007, the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party are also organized parties in the state.

At the state level, the governorship has been held by the Republican Party since 1992, along with a majority of the state legislature and statewide officers. Dem-NPL showings were strong in the 2000 governor's race, and in the 2006 legislative elections, but the League has not had a major breakthrough since the administration of former state governor George Sinner. The Republican Party presidential candidate usually carries the state; in 2004, George W. Bush won with 62.9% of the vote. Of all the Democratic presidential candidates since 1892, only Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson received Electoral College votes from North Dakota. On the other hand, Dem-NPL candidates for North Dakota's federal Senate and Congressional seats have won every election since 1982, and the state's federal delegation has been entirely Democratic since 1986.

Luciano Mende

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