3 women on Minnesota Supreme Court shortlist

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015

By David Montgomery and Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will consider three female jurists for an upcoming Supreme Court vacancy.

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The state’s Commission on Judicial Selection recommended Dayton look at Judge Margaret Chutich, Judge Natalie Hudson or Minneapolis city attorney Susan Segal for the vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice Alan Page. Chutich and Hudson both serve as at-large judges on the state appellate court.

Dayton isn’t required to pick one of the three names, but his staff publicized the shortlist Monday morning. He’ll begin interviews soon and plans on announcing a pick soon.

Of the seven members of the state Supreme Court, only two are women, and Justice Wilhelmina Wright is on her way out after being nominated for a federal judgeship. The other woman on the bench is Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea.

Dayton said late last month that he was looking for “a fabulous person, experienced, well qualified in every respect” for the court.

He also said he will keep in mind that both Page and Wright are African-American and the only people of color on the court.

“I’m conscious (of) the diversity factor,” he said. “I am also conscious of the fact that when Justice Wright departs there will be only one woman, the chief justice, and that’s also a consideration.”

Chutich and Segal are white and Hudson is black.

Chutich, a Dayton appointee to the Appeals Court, was considered for a Supreme Court slot previously but passed over for other nominees.

She won election to the Appeals Court in 2014 with 99 percent of the vote, running unopposed.

Segal, who is married to Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, has served as Minneapolis City Attorney post since 2008 and was re-appointed last year by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.