Minnesota Supreme Court has female majority with newest appointees

Gov. Tim Walz announced on Monday the appointments of two new justices to Minnesota's highest court. 

Theodora Gaïtas and Sarah Hennesy have been appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which will now have a majority of female justices.

"As Chief Justice, I am pleased to welcome both Chief Judge Sarah Hennesy and Judge Theodora Gaïtas to the Minnesota Supreme Court," said Chief Justice Natalie Hudson in a statement. "Both are experienced, well-respected jurists who bring exceptional intellectual gifts and a deep commitment to serving the people of Minnesota. This is a great day for Minnesota."

Judge Theodora Gaïtas

Pictured Judge Theodora Gaïtas. (Supplied)

Theodora Gaïtas will replace the Honorable Margaret H. Chutich who announced her retirement in January. 

Gov. Walz made the announcement on Monday, saying Gaïtas is "A remarkable jurist who has served at all levels of our judiciary. Her understanding of the complexities of our judicial system will make her an excellent addition to the Minnesota Supreme Court."

Gaïtas is currently a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and previously served as a judge in the Fourth Judicial District, presiding over felony cases. She is the co-chair of the Tribal State Court Form and of the Court of Appeals’ Equal Justice Committee and law clerk recruiting committee.

 "I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Minnesota Supreme Court, and I thank Gov. Walz and his team for their trust in me," said Judge Gaïtas in a statement. "As an associate justice, I will strive to apply the law fairly and justly for all Minnesotans."

Judge Sara Hennesy

Judge Sara Hennesy. (Supplied)

Sara Hennesy will be replacing the Honorable G. Barry Anderson who announced his retirement earlier this year. 

Walz made the announcement Monday about Hennesy saying, "Not only is she a brilliant legal mind with extensive judicial experience, but she is a leader who knows how to move the needle towards justice."

Hennesy is currently the chief judge of the Seventh Judicial District and has experience in appellate and trial courts, where she previously worked as a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. 

She is a chair member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the General Rules of Practice. Hennesy also enjoys volunteering to help coach and judge for mock trial teams and works with students to help them learn about the judiciary. 

"I am profoundly honored to be selected to serve as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court," said Chief Judge Hennesy in a statement. "I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the governor and his team for entrusting me with this immense responsibility. As a justice of this Court, I will work collaboratively with my colleagues to interpret the law faithfully, uphold the Constitution, and ensure that justice is accessible to all Minnesotans."

The Minnesota Supreme Court will consist of Chief Justice Natalie E. Hudson, Associate Justice Anne K. McKeig, Associate Justice Paul C. Thissen, Associate Justice Gordon L. Moore III, Associate Justice Karl C. Procaccini, Associate Justice Hennesy and Associate Justice Gaïtas.