Natalie Hudson will in October make history as the first Black person to become chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Gov. Tim Walz promoted Hudson, who has served as an associate justice since 2015, to be chef justice as current Chief Justice Lorie Gildea retires in October.
“Justice Hudson is one of our state’s most experienced jurists. She has a strong reputation as a leader and consensus builder,” Walz said in a statement. “I am confident that she will advance a vision that promotes fairness and upholds the dignity of all Minnesotans.”
Hudson also said in the statement, “This is a tremendous responsibility that I approach with humility and resolve, seeking to continue the work of my predecessors in administering one of the best state court systems in the nation, and always seeking to deliver the most accessible, highest-quality court services for the citizens of Minnesota.”
Hudson began her career in law in 1982, working as a staff attorney for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, where she represented indigent clients in housing matters, according to her website. She subsequently became an associate attorney at Robins, Zelle, Larson & Kaplan, now known as Robins Kaplan, practicing employment law and general civil litigation.
Hudson in 1989 worked as the assistant dean of student affairs at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul for 10 years before becoming the St. Paul City Attorney. In 2002, she was appointed to the state’s Court of Appeals and was twice re-elected before being appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2015.
Hudson has also served actively as a member of several professional associations and task forces, including the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Minnesota Women Lawyers Advisory Board, and the Minnesota Supreme Court Racial Bias Task Force and Implementation Committee on Multicultural Diversity and Fairness in the Courts, her website says.
As the wife of a former pastor, she has mentored many young people in youth ministry programs for over 30 years.