Minnesota’s first openly gay state Supreme Court justice to retire

For the second time in a week, a Minnesota Supreme Court justice has announced plans to retire.

Associate Justice Margaret Chutich said Tuesday that her last day on the state’s highest court will be July 31, after the court’s current term.

Chutich was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2012 before her appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016.

She’s the first known member of the LGBTQ+ community to serve on the high court, according to the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

“Representation is important so that when students see someone like them having success, they will have confidence they can set high goals as well,” Chutich said. “Having someone like me on the bench also tells LGBTQ+ lawyers they belong in the courtroom and helps those in the community know that someone on the bench has life experiences that may enrich the understanding of the court, especially about the facts involved in a particular case. All manner of diversity in decision makers is key to creating a fair system of justice.”

“I want to thank Justice Margaret Chutich for her service to the court. She has been a brilliant jurist who has advanced the rule of law for all Minnesotans,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a prepared statement. “She is also a trailblazer as Minnesota’s first openly gay justice. With grace and humility, she has moved our state forward and redefined the image of a justice. Similar to the late Judge Diana Murphy, who Justice Chutich clerked for, she has forged a path for women to lead at the highest levels of the law and our government.”

On Thursday, Justice G. Barry Anderson announced his intent to retire in May.

When their successors are announced, Walz will have appointed four of the seven members of the Minnesota Supreme Court and chosen the chief justice.

Walz’s office says he’ll announce the application process for the vacancies in the coming weeks.