MN names Natalie Hudson new Chief Justice of State Supreme Court

New MN Supreme Court Chief Justice
New MN Supreme Court Chief Justice(Quinn Gorham)
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (GRAY) – Governor Tim Walz’s administration elevated veteran Justice Natalie Hudson to fill the role of Chief Justice Wednesday, after Justice Lorie Gildea announced she’d be stepping down from the role earlier this year. Hudson, who’s served on the court since 2015, will be the first Person of Color to serve as Chief Justice in the State of Minnesota.

“I’ve had many allies along the way, and I see many of you here in this room today,” said Hudson as she addressed her colleagues on Wednesday.

Both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor expressed their trust in Hudson to lead the court.

“I am confident that the court will continue to fight to protect the rights of Minnesotans with Natalie Hudson as Chief Justice,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.

Hudson thanked her friends, family, and fellow justices, as she promised to uphold the state constitution during her tenure.

“I pledge to do my very best. I’m humbled by this opportunity. I have resolved to continue to make our courts the leading courts...” she said.

Hudson served on the state court of appeals for 13 years prior to her appointment to the court in 2015.

Since then, she feels her work over the last 8 years has prepared her to lead both the state and the court itself.

“We have disagreements, but we know how to disagree without being disagreeable. This is a court of high integrity, a hardworking court,” she said.

With Hudson’s elevation, a new spot opened on the Supreme Court, one that will be filled by Karl Procaccini.

Procaccini served on the Governor’s counsel during the pandemic and helped author several pandemic-era executive orders.

“I’m excited to start working with the rolling up my sleeves and getting to work to maintain the Judiciary’s high standards,” he said.

The new justice’s background drew criticism from State Republicans. House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth issued the following statement.

“With the departure of Justice Gildea, Governor Walz had an opportunity to select a pragmatic voice and ensure Minnesotans have a diverse set of views on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Instead, he picked the chief architect of the 2020 lockdowns and mandates that destroyed businesses and kept our kids out of the classroom with zero judicial experience to serve on the state’s highest court.”