Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Kathleen A. Blatz

Former Chief Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Current Interim Chair, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

Kathleen Blatz served on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1996 to January of 2006, becoming Chief Justice on January 28, 1998. She was the first woman in Minnesota’s history to lead the state’s judicial branch. As chief justice, Blatz championed the issue of improving the court’s handling of abused and neglected children and led the judiciary’s efforts to enhance access to justice. In 2007, Blatz was recognized by Minnesota Law & Politics Legal Hall of Fame as “One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in State History.”

Prior to attending law school, Blatz was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives where she served 15 years. Her service included being chair of the Crime and Family Law Committee and an Assistant Minority Leader.

As a lawyer she first worked at the private law firm, Popham, Haik, Kaufman, Schnobrich & Doty, Ltd., and later in the public sector as an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney. Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court, Blatz was a district court judge in the Fourth Judicial District.

Blatz received her law degree with honors and her Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.

Blatz currently specializes in mediation and arbitration. She also serves on the boards of Columbia Funds and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. In 2011 she was court-appointed as the Special Master in the State of Minnesota Government shut-down case.