Gov. Mark Dayton has reappointed Lee Sheehy to continue as chair of the state’s Commission on Judicial Selection.
He was first appointed in 2011 to head the group that interviews candidates for judge positions in the state and recommends finalists for the governor’s final decision.
In the past four years, the group has recommended finalists for 86 judge positions, including District, Appellate and Supreme Court openings.
Dayton said of the commission under Sheehy’s direction:
“It has been widely-recognized that they have been instrumental in broadening the diversity of our judicial team, and keeping it at a very high caliber.”
State officials say that during the past four years, the racial diversity of Minnesota’s judges has increased by 53 percent and the proportion of female judges is up 17 percent.
The commission has 49 members; 27 appointed by the governor and 22 by the state Supreme Court.
Sheehy, who has a law degree from the University of Minnesota, practiced law for 25 years, and is now Region and Communities Program Director for the McKnight Foundation. During his career he’s been chief deputy attorney general under former Attorney General Skip Humphrey and chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. He’s also been senior vice president of business and legal affairs for Public Radio International and St. Louis Park city attorney.