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Hon. Donovan Frank

USDC District of Minnesota

Donovan W. Frank (born June 24, 1951) is a senior United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Education and Career

Frank was born in RochesterMinnesota. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in 1973 and his Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law in 1977.

Frank began his legal career as an assistant county attorney in St. Louis County, Minnesota. In 1985, he was appointed a state district court judge in Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District. Frank served as an assistant chief judge of that court from 1988 to 1991. He was Chief Judge from 1991 to 1996.

Federal Judicial Service

On May 21, 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated Frank to the seat on the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota vacated by David S. Doty. He received his commission on October 22, 1998. He assumed senior status on October 31, 2016.

Notable cases

  • On May 19, 2014, Frank struck down a Minnesota campaign finance provision prohibiting candidates from receiving large contributions after having already received a certain number of large contributions. For example, under the law in question, the first 12 donors to a state legislative candidate could contribute up to $1,000, but subsequent donors could only contribute a maximum of $500. With Frank’s ruling, this prohibition no longer applies.