Dayton appoints Minnesota's first openly gay Supreme Court Justice


Governor Mark Dayton announced on Friday he's appointing Margaret Chutich as the Associate Justice to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

She'll be the first openly gay Supreme Court Justice in Minnesota, with MPR reporting Chutich recognized her wife, Penny Wheeler, during the announcement.

The judge also addressed what this step means for the state, MPR reports. She said it is "very important" because it helps break down any "barriers" that might be getting in the way of gay people's dreams.

She'll be replacing Wilhelmina Wright, who's going to be a U.S. District Court Judge for Minnesota. Diane Bratvold will take Chutich's former role as the at-large judge on the state's Court of Appeals.

A news release from Governor Dayton's office says Chutich had been serving in the Court of Appeals since 2012, for which she was also chosen by Dayton.

Before that, she worked at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, at the Minnesota Attorney General's Office and as an Assistant United States Attorney for Minnesota.

Bratvold has also been appointed by the governor before. In 2014, Dayton picked her to be a District Court Judge for the Fourth Judicial District. She is also a professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School.

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