Minnesota Appoints Its First Black Chief Justice Supreme Court

According to a report, Gov. Tim Walz announced that he has appointed Natalie Hudson to be the first person of color to serve as chief judge of the Minnesota Supreme Court, effective this coming autumn.

After 13 years on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the state’s then-governor, Mark Dayton, nominated Hudson as an associate justice in 2015. When outgoing Chief Justice Lorie Gildea steps down in October, she will take the helm.

Judiciary appointments in Minnesota are subject to periodic public referendums but do not require legislative confirmation. Former governor Mark Dayton nominated Alan Hudson to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2015 after Judge Alan Page, the state’s first Black judge, announced his retirement.
To replace Justice Hudson, Waltz appointed his longtime general counsel, Karl Procaccini, to the bench.

Professor Procaccini is now teaching as a visiting faculty member at the Law School of the University of St. Thomas. As the state’s top lawyer, his responsibilities included leading response efforts to COVID-19 while he was in office. After graduating, he attended Harvard Law and served as the journal’s executive editor.

A study of the political affiliation of every state supreme court judge in the United States was released in 2020 by Ballotpedia.

To facilitate this analysis, Ballotpedia gave every justice a Confidence Score that reflects the level of assurance with the forecast of that judge’s level of partisanship in their previous roles. According to the polling data, Hudson is a moderate Democrat.

The survey provided “Confidence Scores” that reflected our level of assurance of each justice’s party leanings. This was not meant to indicate where a judge stood ideologically but rather how certain we were that they were members of a specific political party. Scores were determined by seven variables, one of which was political affiliation.

The five groups of Confidence Scores that emerged were as follows.

Strong Democrat, Strong Republican, Mild Democrat, Mild Republican, and Indeterminate.