Senate approves MN Justice Wilhelmina Wright for spot on federal court

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina Wright will be moving to a federal courtroom.

The Senate voted 58-36 Tuesday to confirm Wright to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for Minnesota.

President Obama nominated Wright for the seat in April. She succeeds former Chief Federal Judge Michael Davis who left the court on Aug. 1.

14 Republican Senators joined their Democratic colleagues in voting to confirm Wright.

https://twitter.com/amyklobuchar/status/689598620681781248

In a joint statement with fellow Senator Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar congratulated Wright, noting: "While many judicial nominees are languishing in the Senate, she has made it through the confirmation gauntlet."

Klobuchar tells the Star Tribune the judicial seat Wright is filling was vacant for only 171 days, compared to an average of 514 days.

The conservative group Heritage Action had opposed Wright, saying that as a law student she wrote an article that criticized former President Ronald Reagan, former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and the concept of property rights.

https://twitter.com/civilrightsorg/status/689586706408935425

Wright, 52, has served on the District Court, Appellate Court, and Supreme Court benches in Minnesota. Before becoming a judge she was an assistant U.S. Attorney. She earned her law degree from Harvard after getting her bachelor's degree at Yale.

Nikita Levy Pounds, a University of St. Thomas law professor and president of the Minneapolis NAACP, tells the Pioneer Press that Wright becoming the first black woman to serve as a federal judge in the Minnesota district is good for the state: "As an African-American woman serving on the federal bench, she will add a new perspective and insight that will enhance the administration of justice," Levy-Pounds said.

Wright's confirmation means Gov. Mark Dayton will name her successor on Minnesota's high court.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-06-20 at 9.21.00 AM

Updates on Minnesotans bidding for spots at the Summer Olympics

St. Paul's Suni Lee could qualify for the U.S. gymnastics team this week.

golf cart

Federal charges: Minnesota man stole 63 golf carts in 7 states

Nathan Rodney Nelson has been federally charged with transportation of stolen vehicles across state lines.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

1 dead, 1 wounded in separate St. Cloud shootings

It was one of two shootings that happened overnight in the city.

Byron Buxton

Buxton, Kepler lead Twins to weekend sweep over Rangers

Kenta Maeda's solid outing on the mound gave the Twins a 4-2 victory.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for south Minnesota, tornadoes possible

The watch area is just to the south of the Twin Cities.

ambulance

10 injured when minivans collide, overturn in west-central Minnesota

The incident occurred at the intersection of County Road 1 and County Road 29 in Kandiyohi County.

William Carlson

Nearly 80 years later, Minnesotan honored for WWII heroism

He defended a sinking passenger ship from a U-boat.

ambulance, crash

Pedestrian fatally struck by driver in Brooklyn Park

The identity of the victim has not been released.

storm, severe weather, shelf cloud

Some storms could pack a punch Sunday afternoon

Widespread severe weather is not expected, but some storms could get feisty.

Related