Judge Mark Wernick

Hennepin County
District Court


The Minnesota legislature has established a Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission to assist Governors in selecting judges.

Lawyers seeking appointment as a judge must submit a written application to the Judicial Selection Commission. The Commission reviews the written applications, focusing on the applicants’ education, bar admissions, work experience, and community involvement. After this screening process, the Commission interviews the most qualified applicants. The screening process continues with a thorough background check, including interviews with the applicants’ references and others who know the applicant.

These measures are taken to assure that each applicant recommended to the Governor is knowledgeable and has the proper temperament to be a judge. Only after a thorough screening and comparison with other candidates does the Commission recommend a candidate to the Governor.

After receiving recommendations from the Commission, the Governor interviews each candidate. (The Governor is not bound by the Commission’s recommendations and may consider other candidates.) After interviewing the candidates, the Governor will announce the appointment for judge. That judge must then stand for election in the first general election one year after the appointment, thereby giving the voters an opportunity to review the appointed judge’s qualifications and performance.

In 2002, Judge Mark Wernick underwent the strict scrutiny of the Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission; and, after comparing him to numerous other candidates, the Commission recommended him for appointment to the Hennepin County District Court. After interviewing him and other recommended candidates, Governor Jesse Ventura selected Judge Mark Wernick to serve. In 2004, Judge Wernick, running unopposed, was elected by the voters.