Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of the Honorable Edward J. Cleary as judge for the Fourth Congressional District seat on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Judge Cleary will be replacing the Honorable Harriet Lansing, who retired earlier this year.
“Judge Cleary is extremely well-qualified for the Court of Appeals, as both an accomplished attorney and an experienced District Court Judge,” Governor Mark Dayton said.
Judge Cleary is the current Assistant Chief Judge for the Second Judicial District where he was appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura in 2002. He practiced law for 20 years concentrating on civil and criminal defense litigation and was also an Assistant Public Defender for Ramsey County. In 1997, the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed Judge Cleary to serve as Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. He received a B.A., magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1974; and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1977. Judge Cleary has been an adjunct professor at the Law School since 2000.
Additionally, Judge Cleary served as a past president of the Ramsey County Bar Association and as a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Board of Governors and Assembly. He was a commissioner for the Saint Paul Charter Commission and a council member for the Minnesota News Council. He has served on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission since 2006. Judge Cleary is also the author of "Beyond the Burning Cross: A Landmark Case of Race, Censorship, and the First Amendment", an award winning book that describes his role in the case of R.A.V. v. St. Paul, decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1992.
Judge Cleary resides with his wife in Saint Paul. The Minnesota Court of Appeals handles most of the appeals from the final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies and local governments. It is composed of judges who represent each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts as well as eleven judges who serve in an at-large capacity.
More information on Governor Dayton’s Judicial Selection Committee, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found at http://mn.gov/governor/appointments/judicial-appointments/
A headshot of Judge Cleary is attached.