Currently serving on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Wright has over 25 years of legal experience and has served at all levels in the Minnesota courts
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken today announced that they are recommending Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina “Mimi” Wright for nomination to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Currently serving on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Wright has over 25 years of legal experience and has served at all levels in the Minnesota courts. Wright was recommended to the senators by a bipartisan judicial selection advisory committee. Klobuchar and Franken formed the bipartisan advisory committee to review candidates and assist them in making a recommendation for the position.
“Justice Wright is a dedicated public servant with a distinguished career spanning all levels of the state and federal legal system,” Klobuchar said. “She’s the total package – her breadth of experience, deep legal knowledge and strong character make her highly qualified for the position. I believe she will serve Minnesota well and I will work to ensure that her extensive qualifications provide the foundation for a swift and thorough confirmation.”
“The job of federal judge is an exceptionally important position that requires someone with a diverse record of experience and an unwavering commitment to fair and just application of the law,” Franken said. “With decades of legal experience and know-how, Justice Wright is well-qualified to serve Minnesota on the U.S. District Court. Her background as a public servant, from the Minnesota courts to the federal level, provides her a thorough understanding of our legal system that will truly benefit our state. I’m looking forward to working on Justice Wright’s nomination and confirmation.”
Wright was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2012. She previously served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals from 2002-2012. Prior to this appointment, she served as a trial judge on the Ramsey County District Court.
Before joining the bench, Wright was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, where she represented the United States in complex economic fraud cases and violent crime cases. During her time as a federal prosecutor, she received the United States Department of Justice Director’s Award and the United States Department of Justice Special Achievement Award. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Wright practiced with Hogan & Hartson, LLP in Washington, DC. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1986 and her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1989.
Assisting the senators in their decision was a Judicial Selection Committee co-chaired by Thomas Heffelfinger, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and current partner at Best & Flanagan, and R. Ann Huntrods, a partner at Briggs and Morgan and former head of that firm’s employment law practice group. In a field of very highly qualified applicants, the committee recommended Wilhelmina “Mimi” Wright.
Other committee members included Edward Toussaint, former Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Distinguished Professor of Law and Associate Dean at William Mitchell College of Law; Lolita Ulloa, Managing Attorney, Victims Services Division in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office; Lisa Swenson, Managing Attorney, Third Judicial District Public Defender's Office; Mark Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney; and Yvonne Cheung Ho, former President and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA). Klobuchar and Franken thanked the committee for its hard work.
“Justice Wright embodies everything one could look for in a federal judge: experience, intellectual firepower, a calm and patient demeanor and a deep personal understanding of the issues facing the people of this country,” Heffelfinger said. “Her recommendation also continues the long Minnesota tradition of selecting federal judges based on their professionalism and experience rather than political connections.”
“Justice Wright’s selection exemplifies the best of Minnesota -- a deep commitment to public service, an excellent record of professional accomplishments, and an outstanding ability to understand people, the issues they face, and how the courts impact their lives,” Huntrods said.
If nominated by President Obama, Wright would fill the vacancy on the district court bench that will arise when Chief Judge Michael J. Davis assumes senior status on August 1st. Judge Davis announced his intention to retire from regular active service and continue to serve as a senior judge in a letter sent to President Obama on December 29, 2014.
“Chief Judge Davis has served our state with true distinction for over 30 years,” Klobuchar said. “We are very fortunate that we will continue to benefit from his breadth of experience as a senior judge.”
“Chief Judge Davis deserves a tremendous amount of gratitude for his decades of service to Minnesota and to the court,” Franken said. “I’m pleased that he will be continuing to lend his expertise as a senior judge.”
Federal judges are formally nominated by the president and confirmed by the full Senate.