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

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced the formation of a judicial selection committee to assist them in making recommendations to the President to fill a vacancy on Minnesota’s federal district court. The vacancy was created by Judge Joan Ericksen’s decision to assume senior status. 

The Committee will be chaired by Lolita Ulloa, Deputy Hennepin County Attorney and Director of Domestic Abuse Service Center; with members: David Ackerson, former state court judge on Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District Court; Amran Farah, attorney at Greene Espel and president of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers; Peter Knapp, Interim President and Dean of Mitchell Hamline School of Law; David Lillehaug, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and a former United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota; Cecil Naatz, Managing Attorney of the Public Defender’s Office in Marshall, Minnesota; Forrest Tahdooahnippah, partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and president of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association; and Vildan Teske, founding partner of Teske, Micko, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel. 

“These distinguished Minnesota leaders will come together to find a jurist to continue our state’s long tradition of federal judges with varying experiences and unwavering commitments to fairness and justice,” Klobuchar said. 

“Federal judges have lifetime appointments, which is why it is critical that they have proven themselves to be fair-minded, conscientious, and even-handed in their application of the law. The Committee will be looking for a person of integrity with a first-rate legal mind and a breadth of professional experience.

“I would like to thank Judge Joan Ericksen, who served as a federal district court judge for nearly two decades, having previously served as an Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court, for her commitment to the judiciary and public service,” she concluded.

”Federal courts make decisions that affect every part of our lives: who we marry, our privacy and freedom to make our own medical decisions, our right to vote, and our right to equal treatment at work,” Smith said. “Minnesotans of every race and gender deserve a fair justice system that will protect their rights, and I have no doubt that this Committee will help identify an individual who pledges to successfully uphold our most fundamental value: equal justice for all.

“Thank you to Judge Joan Ericksen for your service to Minnesota, and I look forward to working with this diverse group of Committee members from across Minnesota.”

Those wishing to be considered for the positions of Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, should submit a letter of interest and resume between December 12, 2019 and December 31, 2019 to the Judicial Selection Committee, Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Materials may also be e-mailed to the Committee at MNCommittee@judiciary-dem.senate.gov. References will be requested at a later date during the interview process.

*This deadline has been extended to Friday, January 17, 2020.