Minnesota newspapers are praising Gov. Mark Dayton for appointing Margaret Chutich to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Chutich became Minnesota’s first appointee from the LGBT community to serve on the state’s high court.
The Star Tribune editorial board praised Dayton’s commitment to diversity:
Chutich, who will take the seat left vacant by the appointment of Justice Wilhelmina Wright to the U.S. District Court, is the first openly lesbian associate justice on the seven-member Minnesota Supreme Court. She also may be the only appellate court judge in state history to have won a Big Ten singles tennis title.
Her appointment keeps the gender balance on that court at three women, four men. Minnesota was the first state in the nation to have a 4-3 female court majority, from 1991 to 1994. It’s a distinction only a handful of states have had since.
The Minnesota Daily editorial board called Chutich’s appointment a victory for the LGBT community:
Judge Margaret Chutich made history last week when she became the first openly gay member of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Gov. Mark Dayton, who had previously appointed Chutich to the state Court of Appeals in 2011, said Chutich’s sexuality had nothing to do with her promotion. However, he did acknowledge the historic significance of her ascension to the Supreme Court.
Chutich herself has emphasized the importance of maintaining a judicial body which represents the community it serves, speaking about the symbolism of her appointment.
We congratulate Judge Chutich for her appointment, which will help to make Minnesota’s highest court more representative of the state’s population. Furthermore, her promotion is a weighty symbolic victory for the LGBT community.
The St. Cloud Times editorial board applauded Dayton and congratulated Chutich:
When Gov. Mark Dayton made his latest appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court, he not only selected a qualified candidate, he also helped send a message.
If you are a talented tennis player, you can become a high court justice. Oh, and if you happen to be an openly gay person you can be appointed to the high court.
Congratulations to Appeals Court Judge Margaret Chutich on her selection to the high court.
Dayton appears to take very seriously the principle that the state supreme court should be reflective of Minnesota’s population.
We applaud his efforts.
In addition to newspapers, at least one national group issued a statement in support of Dayton’s pick. Lambda Legal Fair Courts Project Director Eric Lesh released a statement that said:
“The appointment of Judge Chutich to the Minnesota Supreme Court is a powerful step toward building a judiciary that fully reflects the people of Minnesota in all their diversity. It is important that courts across the country are not seen as excluding particular segments of society, when all of us are subject to their rulings.”