Wilhelmina Marie "Mimi" Wright (born January 13, 1964) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. She was formerly an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and a judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Early life and education
Wright was born on January 13, 1964 in Norfolk, Virginia. Growing up, her mother had to advocate for her to receive equal education due to ongoing resistance to integration. She went on to study literature at Yale University, and got her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Wright served as a law clerk for Judge Damon Keith. She worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP, in Washington, D.C. before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota.
Wright has earned numerous awards during her career, including the Myra Bradwell Award in 2006 from the Minnesota Women Lawyers, the Lena O. Smith Achievement Award from the Black Women Lawyers Network in 2004, the B. Warren Hart Award for Public Service from the Saint Paul Jaycees in 2001, and the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans Award in 2000.
Wright was appointed to the Ramsey County District Court (Minnesota) in 2000 and to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2002 by Governor Jesse Ventura, on which she served from September 3, 2002 to September 26, 2012.
Wright was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on August 20, 2012 by Governor Mark Dayton, with her term beginning on September 27, 2012. She is the first African American woman to serve on the court.
Federal judicial service
On April 15, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Wright to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, to the seat vacated by Judge Michael J. Davis, who took senior status effective August 1, 2015. Her nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 17, 2015, by voice vote On January 19, 2016 the Senate voted 58-36 in favor of confirmation. She received her federal judicial commission on February 18, 2016.
Wright is married to Ecolab executive Dan Schmechel. They have one daughter.