WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the formation of a judicial selection committee to assist them in making recommendations to President Biden to fill a vacancy on Minnesota’s federal district court. The vacancy was created by Judge Wilhelmina Wright’s decision to retire.

The Committee will be chaired by Lucinda Jesson, former judge on Minnesota’s Court of Appeals and will include Johnathan Judd, Judge on Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial Court; David Lillehaug, former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and former U.S. Attorney for the state of Minnesota; Miguel Pozo, Member at Cozen O’Connor and former President of the Hispanic National Bar Association; Kristine Weeks, Judge on Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial Court in Blue Earth County and former assistant public defender; and X. Kevin Zhao, partner at Greene Espel PLLP.

“Minnesota’s federal judges have a long track record of being fair-minded, conscientious and even-handed in their application of the law, and this distinguished selection panel committee will find a jurist worthy of this tradition,” said Klobuchar. “Judge Wright is a true trailblazer who, in addition to serving on the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, also served on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Minnesota Court of Appeals, and as a state trial court judge in Ramsey County. Throughout her many years as a jurist, Judge Wright demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the law and I thank her for her service.” 

“Judge Wilhelmina Wright’s trailblazing career will serve as an inspiration to generations of Minnesota lawyers. She not only served as Minnesota’s first Black woman federal judge, but is the only jurist to serve at all three levels of Minnesota’s state court system. I can’t thank her enough for her exemplary service and dedication to justice,” said Smith. “As the committee undertakes the important work of recommending potential judicial nominees to fill Judge Wright’s seat, they will look for someone who embodies the same commitment to fairness and the pursuit of equal justice under the law for all Minnesotans. I want to thank each of our distinguished committee members for contributing their time and expertise in service of facilitating this important process.”

Those wishing to be considered for the position of Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, should submit a letter of interest and resume by February 29, 2024 to the Judicial Selection Committee. Application materials may be emailed to the Committee at MNCommittee@judiciary-dem.senate.gov or mailed to the Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN, 55415. References will be requested at a later date.