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Gov. Dayton appoints Judge Margaret Chutich to Minnesota Supreme Court

Chutich will be the first openly gay justice on the state’s highest court.

Judge Margaret Chutich
Judge Margaret Chutich

Judge Margaret Chutich was named to the Minnesota Supreme Court today; she’ll be the first openly gay justice on the state’s highest court.

Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Chutich — who has been on the state Court of Appeals — to replace Wilhelmina Wright, who was confirmed this week by the U.S. Senate as a U.S. District Judge.

Dayton also appointed District Court Judge Diane Bratvold take Chutich’s spot on the Court of Appeals. 

Dayton said he is always looking for the best people to fill judgeships, and said of Chutich: “Her ability to forge understanding amongst colleagues, and her fortitude to dissent when she deems it necessary, have served her well throughout her distinguished career.”

The Star Tribune said that after the announcement this morning, Chutich told reporters:

It is important that the court reflect the community it serves, and I also think symbolism is very important. 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 had appointed Chutich to the Court of Appeals in 2012. Before that she’d been Assistant Dean at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Deputy Attorney General of the Law Enforcement Section with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota.

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She graduated from the University of Minnesota and went to the University of Michigan Law School.

Bratvold had been appointed by Dayton to a District Court judge seat in Hennepin County in 2014. 

She’s also an adjunct professor in appellate advocacy at the University of St. Thomas Law School and an officer in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She’d earlier practiced law with Briggs and Morgan, focusing on civil appeals and advice to clients and trial counsel.

Bratvold’s a Macalester College graduate, with a law degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law.