Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday selected state Rep. Paul Thissen to fill a vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Thissen, an attorney first elected to the state House in 2003, served as Speaker of the House during the 2012–2013 biennium. He replaces former Judge David Stras, whose appointment by President Donald Trump to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was confirmed by the Senate in January.
Dayton described Thissen as “a committed public servant and one of the sharpest legal minds in our state.”
Thissen, who plans to resign his seat April 20, said he was “now ready to move from policy-making to principled interpretation of the law.”
“Serving on the court, I believe, is going to allow me to continue to advance the basic values that have long motivated the work I’ve tried to do: to promote fairness, to advance individual dignity and rights, to make sure that we’re accountable to each other and the institutions that serve us are accountable to us and, perhaps most importantly, to make sure that every single person’s voice is heard,” he said.
Thissen announced in January he would not seek re-election to a 9th term in the House. He instead had his sights set on the governor’s office, but dropped out of the race to succeed Dayton after a poor showing in the February precinct caucuses.
Dayton said there would be no special election to fill the District 61B. It would take 38 days to hold the election, and there were only 34 remaining in the current legislative session, making it “both impractical and not required by law” to invite voters to the polls ahead of the General Election in November, he said.