Paul Thissen officially installed as associate justice on MN Supreme Court

On Tuesday, former Minnesota State Representative Paul Thissen was officially installed as the newest associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Thissen has never been a judge before, but in making the appointment, Governor Dayton felt he was the most qualified of the candidates he interviewed, having both a legal and legislative background.

Paul Thissen became the 95th associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In appointing Thissen, Gov. Dayton called it one of his most difficult decisions. Thissen now takes his seat on the court among five other Dayton appointees.

With a law degree from University of Chicago, he has a 25-year legal career. Most recently, he was the senior counsel at the firm of Ballard Spahr. He’s also served 16 years in the state legislature, including a term as Speaker of the House.

At his nomination in April, Thissen said that experience would serve him well.

“The Minnesota legislature is an amazing institution, which I love. And my experience in the legislature has given me a deep, deep respect for the independent and co-equal branches of government,” Thissen said.

In the history of the Minnesota Supreme Court, 17 justices have come from the legislature.