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Hmong woman appointed judge in Minnesota

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota woman has become the state's first judge of Hmong descent.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Gov. Mark Dayton named attorney Sophia Vuelo to the Ramsey County District Court bench on Thursday. The position was open because the previous judge retired.

Vuelo was raised in Wisconsin and received degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Hamline University School of Law. She currently handles cases in juvenile protection, family and criminal matters at her solo practice.

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Rep. Fue Lee of Minneapolis says judicial diversity is important in ensuring residents of all backgrounds trust the legal system.

Dayton has worked to diversify the state's judges. He's previously appointed the first African American woman, Native American woman and openly gay justice to the state Supreme Court.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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