Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed a Mitchell Hamline alum to the state’s highest court. Judge Anne McKeig ’92, a descendant of White Earth Nation, will be the first American Indian on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
McKeig earned her J.D. in 1992 from Hamline University School of Law, one of Mitchell Hamline’s predecessor schools. She has taught as an adjunct professor at both Hamline Law and at William Mitchell College of Law, the other Mitchell Hamline predecessor.
She was appointed in 2008 as a district court judge in the Fourth Judicial District by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and she currently serves as Presiding Judge in Family Court. McKeig worked from 1992-2008 as Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, specializing in Indian child welfare cases.
“Judge McKeig will be a tremendous addition to the Minnesota Supreme Court,” Dayton said in announcing her appointment Tuesday, June 28. “I trust that her commitment to justice, and her concern for the well-being of all Minnesotans will bring a unique and valuable perspective to the court.”
McKeig said she was “humbled by the opportunity to continue working to deliver justice for all Minnesotans in this important role.”
The Pioneer Press reports McKeig’s appointment furthers an effort by Dayton to diversify the bench, giving the high court its first female majority in decades. Minnesota made national news in 1991 when then-Gov. Rudy Perpich created a female majority on the state supreme court–including two Mitchell Hamline grads, Rosalie Wahl ’67 and Esther Tomljanovich ’55.
Mitchell Hamline law professor Ted Sampsell-Jones told the Star Tribune the pick shows Dayton values diversity and judicial experience.
As an adjunct professor, McKeig developed a course on prosecuting child abuse cases with a Hennepin County Attorney.
“It’s a wonderful, innovative, and hands-on course,” said Kate Kruse, Mitchell Hamline’s associate dean for academic affairs. “It takes students step-by-step through the process of prosecuting a child abuse case and gives students the kind of practical experience Mitchell Hamline values.”
McKeig will take office after Justice Christopher Dietzen leaves the bench on August 31. Dietzen is retiring after eight years on the court.