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Gov. Walz appoints JaPaul Harris to Minnesota Court of Appeals


January 31, 2024  

Contact: Claire Lancaster   



Governor Walz Appoints JaPaul Harris to Minnesota Court of Appeals


[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Judge JaPaul Harris to an at-large seat on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Harris will fill the vacancy that occurred upon the resignation of the Honorable Jeffrey M. Bryan, who was recently appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota by President Joe Biden. 

“I am honored to appoint Judge JaPaul Harris to the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” said Governor Walz. “He is an experienced judge with a diverse practice background who has consistently worked to build trust in the courts. Whether by guiding parties through housing court as a judicial referee or assisting low-income families as a legal aid attorney, he has always been committed to helping those who need it the most.” 

“Judge Harris will be an excellent addition to the Court of Appeals,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “He has been a leader on the bench and in the community and has worked tirelessly to make our courts more accessible and inclusive for everyone. I am confident that he will work every day to build trust and confidence in our justice system.” 

“Still waters run deep,” said Chief Justice Natalie Hudson, chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. “Judge Harris is an intellectually gifted jurist whose wisdom, incisiveness, and depth of character will bring a thoughtful, measured voice to the Court of Appeals. The Governor could not have made a better choice.”  

“The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers extends are heartfelt congratulations to Judge JaPaul Harris and our appreciation to Governor Walz,” said Dana Mitchell, president of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers. “Judge Harris is a brilliant, dedicated, and skilled jurist who no doubt will serve with distinction and honor. The appointment of Judge Harris is important because it reflects our collective commitment to excellence, fidelity to the law, and confidence in the judiciary.” 

About Judge JaPaul Harris 

JaPaul Harris serves as a judge in the Second Judicial District in Ramsey County. He previously served as a judicial referee in Hennepin County, presiding over housing, harassment, juvenile, and civil commitment matters, and as an attorney at Mid Minnesota Legal Aid and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. Harris also serves as the chair of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Juvenile Rules Advisory Committee. Harris’s community involvement includes serving as co-chair of the Ramsey County Youth Justice Transformation Initiative (formerly JDAI), as chair of the Equal Justice Committee for the Second Judicial District, and as a member of the board of the Volunteer Lawyers Network and board of advisors for the National Consortium for Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. He earned his B.A. from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage

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