The commission that recommends judicial nominees to Gov. Mark Dayton has given him four names to consider for the coming opening on the state Supreme Court to replace Justice Helen Meyer, who is retiring effect Aug. 10.. The Commission on Judicial Selection recommended these four candidates:
District Judge Tanya M. Bransford of the fourth district (Hennpin County). Bransford has been on the bench since 1994 and has worked as the presiding Juvenile Court Judge, as a District Court referee for Hennepin County’s Juvenile Division, and as a Workers’ Compensation judge.
Judge Margaret H. Chutich-of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Chutich previously served as Assistant Dean at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, was Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Law Enforcement Section, was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and clerked for Federal Judge Diana Murphy.
Former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug, currently of the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron. Lillehaug focuses on public law and complex litigation — civil, criminal and administrative — with a particular emphasis on state and federal constitutional issues. He has run for U.S. senator and Minnesota attorney general and participated in the legal cases over both of Minnesota’s recent statewide recounts. He was special counsel to Dayton in the legal action over the government shutdown of 2011.
Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright-Judge Wright of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Wright previously served as a District Court Judge in the Second Judicial District (Ramsey County), as an Assistant United States Attorney (Economic Crime and Major Crimes Sections) and clerked for Judge Damon Keith of U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The press release announcing the nominees said that Dayton would announce his choice — the first Supreme court appointment of his governorship, after he completes the interview process.