Democratic state Rep. Paul Thissen is a finalist for the Minnesota Supreme Court, along with Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Lucinda Jesson, Minnesota Tax Court Chief Judge Bradford Delapena and Second Judicial District Court Judge Jeffrey Bryan.
Before his appointment, Bryan was an assistant U.S. attorney and a civil litigation attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP.
Delapena currently serves as the chief judge of the Minnesota Tax Court. Before his appointment, he was a solo practitioner at Bradford Delapena Ltd., an assistant attorney general and tax litigation division manager in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and an assistant state public defender.
Jesson is an at-large judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Before her appointment, she was the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, associate professor at Hamline University, partner at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly LLP, chief deputy Hennepin County attorney, and the deputy attorney general in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
Thissen is senior counsel of the health law group at the Ballard Spahr Law Firm (formerly Lindquist & Vennum). He has been a Minnesota state representative since 2003, serving previously as the speaker of the House and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Thissen was also a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan, an appellate public defender, and a law clerk for Judge James B. Loken at the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
One of the candidates will likely fill the seat vacated by Justice David Stras, who was recently confirmed to the federal bench after a months-long wait.
Dayton’s office says he will choose in the coming weeks. Dayton’s pick will make five of the seven members on the bench his appointees.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.
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