By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The White House is expected to name a Minnesotan to the country’s second highest court.

The New York Times says the president will nominate Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the 8th Circuit, which represents much of the Midwest.

The New York Times first reported a list of 10 appointees to federal courts. Stras was named earlier this year as a potential supreme court nominee.

Having already served in the state district court, Stras is making the jump to U.S. District Court. That makes his eventual appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court all the more likely, building his already extensive résumé.

Stras was sworn in to the Minnesota Supreme Court by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Originally from Kansas, Stras got his law degree and MBA at the University of Kansas. Afterward, he worked in Washington as a clerk for Thomas — one of the court’s most conservative justices.

Stras was a law professor at the University of Minnesota and became Minnesota Supreme Court justice in 2010. Robin Wolpert is president of the Minnesota State Bar Association and campaigned for Stras’s election.

“My experience is he’s an intellectual heavyweight. He’s an intellectual leader and that’s what he’ll be on the 8th Circuit,” Wolpert said. “He’s a bridge builder so he can talk to anyone, work with anyone in the court. So he will be a collegial colleague and I think that anyone who comes before him will know that they got a fair hearing, and that’s the most important thing — that he will do justice.”

The nominees are expected to be officially named later Monday. There is talk that this could be the experience Stras needs to one day be apponted to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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