Gov. Walz appoints Sarah Wheelock to fill vacancy on the Minnesota Court of Appeals

November 12, 2021
Contact: Claire Lancaster

Governor Walz Appoints Sarah Wheelock to Fill Vacancy on the Minnesota Court of Appeals 

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Sarah Wheelock, who will be the first Native American judge to sit on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Ms. Wheelock will fill the vacancy occurring upon the retirement of the Honorable Carol A. Hooten. This seat is designated for a resident of the Second Congressional District.

“It is my honor to appoint Sarah Wheelock to the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” said Governor Walz. “In her time serving as legal counsel for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and tribes across the nation, Ms. Wheelock has repeatedly shown that she is a dedicated public servant committed to advancing the common good. She is well prepared to join the Court of Appeals.”

“Sarah Wheelock is a brilliant legal mind with a deep understanding of the laws of the land,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Her life experience, longstanding service to her community, and her extensive legal background provide her with a unique perspective that will be invaluable in her new position. I’m thrilled by her appointment.”

“The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association celebrates the historic appointment of Sarah Wheelock to the Court of Appeals,” said Casey Matthiesen, President of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association. “With this appointment, American Indians now serve at every level of the state judiciary. Sarah Wheelock is an exceptional lawyer, and we are confident that she will serve in the judiciary with distinction.”

About Sarah Wheelock

Ms. Wheelock is legal counsel for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Prior Lake. She previously worked as an Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline College of Law and as an Appellate Judge for the White Earth Band of Chippewa Court of Appeals. Her experience includes litigation in tribal, federal, and state courts, as well as economic development and finance work. Ms. Wheelock is a member of the Meskwaki Nation (federally recognized as the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa). She is a member and past Vice President of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, member of the National Native American Bar Association, and member of the Federal Bar Association. She previously served as a member of the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection. Her community involvement includes serving as a director on the board for the Division of Indian Work, as an assistant director of Twin Cities Native Lacrosse, and as the chair of the American Indian Parent Action Committee for the Prior Lake-Savage Area School District. Ms. Wheelock earned her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Iowa.


For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit: https://mn.gov/governor/administration/judicialappointments/