Chief Justice Russell Anderson to make keynote speech at Winter Commencement

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Russell Anderson will be the keynote speaker at William Mitchell College of Law’s 2007 Winter Commencement ceremony.

Anderson was appointed chief justice in December of 2005 by Governor Tim Pawlenty, who described him at the time as “an extraordinary jurist— (who) will lead the state’s highest court with integrity and thoughtfulness.”

Anderson has said his highest priority as chief justice is to ensure an impartial and fair judiciary, where justice is not for sale to political parties or special interest groups. He has also called for the judicial branch to lead the way in reforming a system in which tens of thousands of people cycle through revolving doors of justice, due to underlying problems of drug addiction and mental illness.

Anderson was originally appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Arne Carlson in 1998 and was reelected in 2000. In addition to serving on the bench, he served as the Beltrami County attorney and has worked as an attorney in private practice. His varied legal career began as a lieutenant commander in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Navy. Anderson holds a master of laws from George Washington University, a J.D. from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College.

The Commencement ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, January 21, in the William Mitchell auditorium.