Group pushing for more women judges

A group of professors and attorneys in the Twin Cities is working to put more women on the region's highest federal court: the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Only one woman has ever been appointed a judge to the federal 8th Circuit, according to Sally Kenny, director of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. A group she and three others have formed, known as the Infinity Project, is trying to change that.

"By not appointing women to the circuit courts, we are effectively excluding women as potential candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court," Kenny said. All of the current justices served on circuit courts before being appointed, she noted.

Unless a case makes it to the Supreme Court, circuit courts are the final appeal for people who live in the states in that circuit. The 8th Circuit includes Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, and Arkansas. Eleven judges are currently on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, including Diana Murphy, the court's first female judge.

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