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Gov. Dayton appoints Appeals Court Judge Hudson to state Supreme Court

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Appeals Court Judge Natalie Hudson will replace retiring Justice Alan Page on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday.

Dayton's pick maintains diversity on the Supreme Court in the wake of Page's retirement, The Associated Press notes, something the governor has said is important to him.

Hudson was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2002 by then-Governor Jesse Ventura. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Minnesota in the Criminal Appeals and Health Licensing Divisions; City Attorney for the City of St. Paul; and was the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Hamline University School of Law, a news release noted.

She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division and is also on the Minnesota Women Lawyers Advisory Board.

Hudson was among the candidates recommended to the governor by the Commission on Judicial Selection last month.

This is Dayton’s third appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court. He named David Lillehaug to the court in 2013, and Justice Wilhelmina Wright in 2012.

Wright is awaiting confirmation to a federal judgeship. At that point, the governor will have to appoint another judge to the court.

In Minnesota, gubernatorial judgeship appointments don't require legislative confirmation, the AP notes.

Justice Page hits mandatory retirement age

Justice Page is leaving Minnesota's highest court after hitting the mandatory retirement age of 70 earlier this month. He has served on the Supreme Court for 22 years.

Page, who played for the Minnesota Vikings and was voted the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1971, earned his law degree while playing football. He went on to become the first black man to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

As for what he'll do during retirement, Page told MPR News he plans to devote more time to his foundation – the Page Education Foundation – that provides scholarships for students of color.

Page has been an advocate for advancing education opportunities for children throughout his legal career, reports note.

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