Senators bring together bipartisan group of distinguished Minnesota leaders to head search

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken today announced the formation of a judicial selection committee to assist them in making recommendations to the President to fill two vacancies on Minnesota’s federal district court. The vacancies were created by Judge Ann Montgomery’s and Judge Donovan Frank’s recent decisions to assume senior status.

The Committee is co-chaired by Ann Huntrods, a partner at Briggs and Morgan, and Thomas Heffelfinger, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota and current partner at Best & Flanagan. Committee members include Edward Toussaint, former Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals now serving as a Senior Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals; Lolita Ulloa, Hennepin County Attorney, Civil Deputy and former head of Victims Services; Lisa Swenson, Managing Attorney, Third Judicial District Public Defender's Office; Mark Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney; Yvonne Cheung Ho, former President and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA); and Vildan Teske, a founding partner of Teske, Micko, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel.

In announcing the judicial selection committee, Senator Klobuchar said:

“This group of distinguished Minnesota leaders will help us identify jurists who will continue Minnesota’s long tradition of federal judges with broad experience and an unwavering commitment to the fair and just application of the law.

“Federal judges have lifetime appointments, which is why it is critical that they are even-handed, fair-minded, and dedicated to equal justice under law. In addition to these important traits, the Committee will look for a person of integrity with a first-rate legal mind and a breadth of professional experience.

“I want to thank Judge Montgomery and Judge Frank for their decades of service to our state and country. However, we are lucky that both have chosen to take senior status so we will continue to have the benefit of their service. They will be hard to replace but I am confident that through the diligent counsel of the Committee, we will find two Minnesotans with the experience to carry on the work that Judge Montgomery and Judge Frank have done for many years.”  

Senator Franken said:

“The Senate has an important role to play in filling judicial vacancies, and I take that role very seriously. I’m proud of Judge Montgomery and Judge Frank’s years of distinguished service to Minnesota and our country. They leave some big shoes to fill, but I’m confident that the Selection Committee we are announcing today will find well-qualified Minnesotans who will apply the law fairly and equally for all. I’m looking forward to reviewing the Committee’s work and recommending nominees to the President who will serve the people of our state with honor and distinction.”

The last federal judge, Wilhelmina Wright, was recommended by Klobuchar and Franken through a committee process. She was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate earlier this year.

Those wishing to be considered for the positions of Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota should submit a letter of interest and resume between Monday, November 7, 2016 and Monday, November 21, 2016 to: Co-Chairs Ann Huntrods and Thomas Heffelfinger, Judicial Selection Committee, Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Materials may also be e-mailed to the Committee at References will be requested at a later date during the interview process.