Gov. Walz appoints Nicole Hopps to fill 6th Judicial District vacancy


July 19, 2023 

Contact: Claire Lancaster




Governor Walz Appoints Nicole Hopps to Fill Sixth Judicial District Vacancy


ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Tim Walz today announced the appointment of Nicole Hopps as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District. Hopps will be replacing the late Honorable Sally L. Tarnowski and will be chambered in Duluth in St. Louis County.

“It is my pleasure to appoint Nicole Hopps to the St. Louis County bench to fill the seat left by the late Judge Tarnowski, who served the district with great distinction and who leaves a deep and lasting legacy in the Sixth Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “With Hopps’s years of experience as a public defender, striving for equitable and just outcomes for her clients, I am confident she will be a remarkable and fair jurist and leader for the Sixth Judicial District.”

Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District encompasses Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis counties.

Nicole Hopps is the managing attorney for the Sixth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Duluth. In this role, she supervises attorneys and support staff serving indigent clients, including in the areas of rehabilitative justice, diversion, and welfare programs. She previously served in the Sixth Judicial District as an assistant public defender. Hopps’s community involvement includes volunteering with the Carlton County Community Outreach Program, the South St. Louis County Mental and Behavioral Health courts, and the Indian Child Welfare Act Court team. She also serves on the board of directors of Churches United in Ministry (CHUM), which is an organization that serves low-income, homeless, hungry, isolated, or otherwise marginalized community members in Duluth. She earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota Duluth and her J.D. from the University of North Dakota School of Law. 

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