MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Governor Mark Dayton has announced his pick to fill the vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Paul Thissen, a former DFL House Speaker and a two-time candidate for governor, was among the four finalists Dayton named for the position last month. On Tuesday morning, the governor made it official, naming Thissen to the state’s highest court.

“He combines a brilliant legal mind, the highest integrity and a special understanding of Minnesota from his 16 years in the House of Representatives and his extensive travels throughout our state,” the governor said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Thissen will fill the seat vacated by Judge David Stras. The Senate just confirmed his appointment to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I am now ready to move from policy-making to principled interpretation of the law,” Thissen said. “That work, guided by the values of our state and by our constitution is essential to the protection of individual rights, and to preserving our democracy.”

The shortlist also included Dayton’s former cabinet member and current Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Lucinda Jesson, Minnesota Tax Court Chief Judge Bradford Delapena and District Court Judge Jeffrey Bryan.


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