The History Behind The Tears Of New MN Supreme Court Justice

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Judge Anne McKeig wipes away tears

Judge Anne McKeig wipes away tears

Governor Mark Dayton appointed Judge Anne K. McKeig to the Minnesota Supreme Court, meaning a majority of the court justices are now Dayton appointees. The majority of the court is also now made up of women.

McKeig will replace Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Christopher J. Dietzen who retires at the end of August. During today’s news conference she said she was humbled by the appointment and talked about her native american heritage.

Tears welled up in McKeig’s eyes as she recalled the swearing-in of Robert A. Blaeser, the first American Indian district court judge in 1995.

“I didn’t know him, but he was a White Earth member. And I, a proud descendent of the White Earth nation, knew that if he could do it that maybe I could. And it is people like him who take the time to mentor a young girl from Federal Dam, Minnesota… and you’re going to hear me say that a thousand times, because it is Federal Dam, Minnesota population 110. Two bars. A few stop signs. A lot of fishermen. But is people like him and his wife who have led the way that have allowed for others like me to dare to dream.”

“So today is a historic day not only for myself, and for my family but for all native people. It underscores the importance of one person leading so that another can follow.”

“Now I’ve messed up my makeup.”

“I’m forever grateful to Judge Blazer who not only became my mentor, but lucky for me he became my friend.”

Governor Dayton office’s press release with quotes from Dayton:

“Judge Anne McKeig has served the people of Minnesota admirably throughout her distinguished career, including as Presiding Judge of the Family Court in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District,” said Governor Dayton. “Judge McKeig has worked honorably to ensure justice for some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable people, with her strong dedication to Indian Child Welfare and her work leading the Fourth District Family Court.

“Judge McKeig will be a tremendous addition to the Minnesota Supreme Court. I trust that her commitment to justice, and her concern for the well-being of all Minnesotans will bring a unique and valuable perspective to the Court. I am confident Judge McKeig will continue the same exemplary commitment to fairness and excellence that Justice Dietzen has displayed throughout his distinguished career.”

“I thank Governor Dayton for the honor of continuing my service to the people of Minnesota as an Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court,” said Judge McKeig. “I am humbled by the opportunity to continue working to deliver justice for all Minnesotans in this important role.”

Governor Dayton thanked Justice Dietzen for his dedicated service to the State of Minnesota, especially for his service on the Supreme Court, where he has served as Associate Justice since 2008.

“For eight years, Justice Christopher Dietzen has served the people of Minnesota on our state’s Supreme Court with honor and distinction,” said Governor Dayton. “Justice Dietzen’s contributions to justice and jurisprudence will have a lasting impact on our state. On behalf of all Minnesotans, I thank him for his dedicated service.”

Here is Judge McKeig’s bio as provided by Governor Dayton’s office:

Judge Anne K. McKeig: Judge McKeig is a District Court Judge in the Fourth Judicial District. Prior to her appointment, she worked as an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney in the Child Protection Division, where she specialized in Indian Child Welfare cases. Judge McKeig has also been a part-time staff attorney for the American Prosecutors Research Institute and is currently a trainer for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Judge McKeig is currently an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, a member of the Speakers Bureau for the National Child Protection Training Center, and current chair of the Board of the Division of Indian Work.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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