Governor Mark Dayton today appointed Judge Margaret Chutich to the state’s highest court, making her Minnesota’s first openly gay Supreme Court justice, according to the AP:
The Democratic governor said that while he is aware of Chutich’s sexual orientation, her performance over the last four years on the state’s appellate court trumped any other factors.
“Judge Chutich is just a phenomenal appointment,” he said.
Chutich recalled her first appearance as an attorney before the Minnesota Supreme Court, then stocked with four female justices, as a welcoming moment in her career. With her partner of 20 years in the room, she said she hopes her nomination to the state’s highest court will serve as a symbol to young, gay attorneys.
“It is important that the court reflect the community it serves, and I also think symbolism is very important,” Chutich told reporters. “If there are gay attorneys, gay people thinking about going to law school, I think it’s important that they know there aren’t barriers to their dreams.”
Dayton appointed Chutich to her position as at-large judge on the Court of Appeals in 2012. She also served as assistant dean at University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, as Deputy Attorney General of the Law Enforcement Section with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota.