Wilhelmina Marie Wright 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 and a judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. 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. 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. She is the first African American woman to serve on the court. 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 federal judicial commission on February 18, 2016.
Judge Wilhelmina Wright shares her advice to any young, aspiring judges about building confidence, taking responsibility, and overcoming barriers in their careers.
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