Gov. Tim Walz has selected Lola Velazquez-Aguilu to serve as the chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection.
The Commission on Judicial Selection solicits, considers, and recommends candidates to the governor for vacancies in the District Trial Courts and the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. It is a joint commission, appointed by the governor and the Supreme Court, made up of nine at-large members, including the chair, and four district members from each of Minnesota’s ten Judicial Districts. With the appointment Velazquez-Aguilu will chair the Commission she has served on since 2016.
“(Velazquez-Aguilu) is a self-driven and dedicated public servant and an accomplished attorney whose leadership will set the tone of the Commission,” said Walz. “We are committed to working together with Ms. Velazquez-Aguilu and members of the Commission to ensure that those who uphold the rule of law are qualified and representative of our communities.”
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said Velazquez-Aguilu’s record for fairness, equity and diversity speaks for itself.
“We are confident that, as Chair of the Commission, she will continue her commitment to supporting a diverse and independent judiciary,” said Flanagan. “Our courts are the conduits of equal and fair justice and should reflect the diversity of Minnesota. We look forward to continue creating an equal and fair judiciary system by identifying excellent judges in partnership with the Commission under Ms. Velazquez-Aguilu’s leadership.”
In her time on the Commission on Judicial Selection, Velazquez-Aguilu participated in the selection and appointment of 13 new judges. She currently serves as litigation and investigations counsel at Medtronic. Previously, she has served as an assistant United States Attorney, an associate at Dorsey & Whitney, LLP and as a law clerk for Justice Ann Montgomery and the Justice Alan Page. She has also served as the co-chair of the United States District Court Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, on the Transition Committee for Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison, and as president of the Infinity Project. Velazquez-Aguilu attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees.
“It is truly an honor to be asked to serve as chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection,” said Velazquez-Aguilu. “The merit selection process is critical to ensuring the advancement of a strong, independent, and diverse judiciary. Thankfully, Minnesota is blessed to have a deep pool of qualified lawyers from all backgrounds and all sectors of the profession who represent the best of our State. I look forward to working with the commissioners, the bench, and the governor and lieutenant governor, to recruit and select the future members of our judiciary.”
“Ms. Velazquez-Aguilu is an extraordinary lawyer, with a demonstrated and deep commitment to creating a fair justice system that reflects the community,” said Lariss Maldonado, immediate past president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and an attorney at Stinson Leonard Street LLP. “She is authentic, thoughtful, and exceptionally intelligent. Governor Walz’s appointment of Ms. Velazquez-Aguilu is historic and empowering for the Latino community, for people of color, and for Minnesota as a whole. The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association looks forward to seeing strides for equality and excellence on the bench.”