Dayton appoints Wilhelmina Wright, first black female justice, to state Supreme Court

Categories: Law, Mark Dayton
Your new Supreme Court Justice, Wilhelmina Wright, left, and Gov. Dayton.
Wilhelmina M. Wright's bio reads like a straight-A report card at life: Yale undergrad, Harvard law, a national public service award, and, since 2002, a Minnesota Court of Appeals judgeship.

Now, she's adding a few more distinctions to that list. This afternoon, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to the state Supreme Court seat recently vacated by Justice Helen Meyer. The announcement makes Wright the first DFL nominee since 1991, the first Supreme appointment of Dayton's two years in office, and the first black woman to serve on the state's highest court.

Wright, a 48-year-old St. Paul resident, was one of four finalists for the appointment. Prior to her appeals court seat, she worked as a trial judge in Ramsey County, and preceding that, as an assistant U.S. attorney in the state, prosecuting violent crime and economic fraud. In 2010, she chaired the redistricting panel that drew Minnesota's political boundaries.

"Judge Wright has proven her exceptional judiciary skills by authoring over 700 opinions during her decade serving on the Minnesota Court of Appeals," Dayton said in a statement. "I read several of her opinions before making my decision. I was greatly impressed by her exceptional intellect, her written communication skills and, most importantly, her excellent judgment."

With such high-profile ballot initiatives as the marriage amendment and voter ID -- and, inevitably, their attendant legal challenges -- ahead, Wright's joining the high court for what promises to be an interesting stretch.

In a statement, Wright covered the predictable ground of feeling honored and committed. She continued, "It is my good fortune to devote my life's work to preserving and to promoting the values of freedom and equal justice -- values that I believe in so deeply."

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MN Gov Dayton and Justice Wilhelmina Wright - The Problem with Minnesota Courts is not Judges' skin color #LawlessAmerica #NFOJA #JWatch @WETHEPEOPLETAR #J4J



If Governor (?) Dayton chose her out of merit and past work, why must City Pages mention the fact that she is black?  Isn't that racist?

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @keny1 No one cares what you think kenny the cowardly stupid racist.  Obama is going to win in 2012 and its because the Republican base is made up of crazy stupid cowards like you.  Why don't you go over to stormfront cause no one cares what you think except other stupid racist losers.


(Anyone unfamiliar kenny is a racist troll who loves to type racist crap because he is a pathetic failure in life.   kenny has mocked dead children in the past because of the color of their skin.  I'm surprised the Tea Party hasn't nominated him to run against Keith Ellison or something.)


 @keny1 No you idiot - it's historical cause she's the first african-american woman to be appointed.  just like obama was the first black president. 


 @paigetastic Actually, you are incorrect.  Oblamer is not black.  If you look really closely at him, he has more of a grey/green tone.  But Obama has one thing going for him though: He is the first U.S. President with purple lips.

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