Today, Governor Dayton appointed Margaret Chutich to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Chutich will be the first openly gay member of the bench. She replaces justice Wilhelmina Wright, who has been appointed by President Obama to the Federal District Court.
Dayton’s appointment of Wright in 2012 was also groundbreaking – she was the first African American woman to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court. And because justice Alan Page was first elected onto the bench, she was also the first African American to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Governor Dayton also appointed Minnesota’s first Hispanic appellate court judge, Peter Reyes Jr., in 2014.
Due largely to a wave of retiring baby boomer judges, Governor Dayton is on pace to appoint over half of Minnesota’s judges in his eight years as governor. This makes his judicial choices even more influential. Thanks to his appointments, Minnesota’s courts have grown considerably more diverse and more inclusive of women, and will stay that way long after he leaves office in 2018.
We applaud Governor Dayton’s leadership in making sure our court system better reflects the diversity of the Minnesotans it serves.