|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota|
|Assumed office |
February 18, 2016
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Michael J. Davis|
|Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court|
September 27, 2012 – February 18, 2016
|Appointed by||Mark Dayton|
|Preceded by||Helen Meyer|
|Succeeded by||Margaret Chutich|
|Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals|
September 3, 2002 – September 26, 2012
|Appointed by||Jesse Ventura|
|Preceded by||Sam Hanson|
|Succeeded by||John Smith|
|Judge of the Ramsey County District Court|
2000 – September 3, 2002
|Appointed by||Jesse Ventura|
|Born||January 13, 1964|
|Education||Yale University (B.A.)|
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Wilhelmina Marie Wright (born January 13, 1964) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. She was formerly an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, a judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and a Judge of the Minnesota District Court, Second Judicial District (Ramsey County).
Early life and education
Wright was born on January 13, 1964 in Norfolk, Virginia. Growing up, her mother had to advocate for her to receive equal education due to ongoing resistance to integration. She went on to study literature at Yale University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Wright received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1989.
Wright served on the Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals as a law clerk for Judge Damon Keith. In 1991, she began working at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP, in Washington, D.C., where Wright took up cases involving U.S. public schools' opportunity, before joining the United States Attorney's Office in Minnesota in 1995. In this position, Wright was an Assistant Attorney and took up cases involving illegal economic activity and violence. Wright has earned numerous awards during her career, including the Myra Bradwell Award in 2006 from the Minnesota Women Lawyers, the Lena O. Smith Achievement Award from the Black Women Lawyers Network in 2004, the B. Warren Hart Award for Public Service from the Saint Paul Jaycees in 2001, and the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans Award in 2000.
State judicial service
Governor Jesse Ventura appointed her to the Ramsey County District Court in 2000 and in 2002 he appointed her to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, on which she served from September 3, 2002, to September 26, 2012. Governor Mark Dayton appointed Wright to the Minnesota Supreme Court on August 20, 2012, with her term beginning on September 27, 2012. Her term ended in 2016. She is the first African American woman to serve on the Court.
Federal judicial service
On April 15, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Wright to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, to the seat vacated by Judge Michael J. Davis, who took senior status effective August 1, 2015. Her nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 17, 2015, by voice vote On January 19, 2016 the Senate voted 58–36 in favor of confirmation. She received her commission on February 18, 2016.
- Jones, Barbara L. (August 24, 2012). "Wright: Recognition of this moment is important". Minnesota Lawyer. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Ragsdale, Jim (August 20, 2012). "Dayton's historic choice: First black female Supreme Court judge". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Sepic, Matt (August 21, 2012). "Appeals Judge Wright is state's newest Supreme Court justice". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Judge Profile: Associate Justice Wilhelmina M. Wright". Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Wright, Wilhelmina Marie – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
- "Wilhelmina M. Wright". Minnesota State Law Library. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
- "Library Research Guides: Wilhelmina M. Wright, Associate Justice 2012-2016: Biography". mncourts.libguides.com. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
- Jones, Barbara L. (October 19, 2012). "Wright promises to use her head and her heart on high court". Minnesota Lawyer. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Neely, Brett (April 15, 2015). "Obama nominates MN Justice Wright for federal bench". MPR News. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov.
- Wilhelmina Wright at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Wilhelmina Wright at Ballotpedia
Mary Louise Klas
| Judge of the Ramsey County District Court|
| Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals
| Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
Michael J. Davis
| Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota