Klobuchar, Smith Announce Judicial Selection Committee for Vacancy on Federal District Court

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the formation of a judicial selection committee to assist them in making recommendations to President Biden to fill a vacancy on Minnesota’s federal district court. The vacancy was created by Judge John R. Tunheim’s decision to assume senior status. 

The selection committee will include Leslie Beiers, Chief Judge of the Minnesota Sixth Judicial District and former Assistant St. Louis County Attorney; Susan Segal, Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals; Abou Amara, Associate at Gustafson Gluek PLLC and Vice President of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers; Tadd Johnson, Professor Emeritus of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth; Cecil Naatz, Managing Attorney of the Public Defender’s Office in Marshall, Minnesota; and Miguel Pozo, Member at Cozen O’Connor and former President of the Hispanic National Bar Association. 

“I would like to thank Judge Tunheim for his decades of service to Minnesota and the federal judiciary,” said Klobuchar. “Minnesota’s federal judges have a long track record of being fair-minded, conscientious and even-handed in their application of the law, and this distinguished selection panel committee will find a jurist worthy of this tradition. Federal judges have lifetime appointments, which is why it is critical that they demonstrate an unwavering commitment to equal justice under law for all.”

“I thank Judge Tunheim for his public service, particularly his nearly three decades serving on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Federal judges have lifetime appointments and their decisions affect every aspect of our lives: who we marry, our privacy and freedom to make our own medical decisions, and our right to vote.  I’m grateful to this excellent group of leaders for agreeing to serve on this Committee and identify and recommend qualified nominees to Senator Klobuchar and I to forward to President Biden. I am confident that this team will ensure that the person who fills Judge Tunheim’s seat is well-qualified and committed to upholding our most fundamental value: equal justice for all,” said Smith.

Those wishing to be considered for the position of Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, should submit a letter of interest and resume by March 31, 2023 to the Judicial Selection Committee. Application materials may be emailed to the Committee at MNCommittee@judiciary-dem.senate.gov. or mailed to the Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN, 55415. References will be requested at a later date during the interview process.