She says she'll spend a lot of time on the bench in Crookston, too

    Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appointments of Crookston attorney Anne M. Rasmusson, Jana M. Austad and Judge Korey Wahwassuck as district court judges in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District.

    Judge John R. Hawkinson will be replaced by Judge Wahwassuck, who will be chambered at Grand Rapids in Itasca County. Judge Michael J. Kraker will be replaced by Rasmusson, who will be chambered at Mahnomen in Mahnomen County. Judge John P. Smith will be replaced by Austad, who will be chambered at Walker in Cass County.

    “It’s very exciting,” Rasmusson told the Times Wednesday. “It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m thrilled.”

    The vacancies were created by the retirements of Judge Hawkinson and Judge Kraker, and the appointment of Judge Smith to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

     “Ms. Austad, Ms. Rasmusson, and Ms. Wahwassuck have each demonstrated their exemplary commitment to justice and aptitude in the law,” Dayton said. “The people of the Ninth Judicial District will be well-served by these capable and experienced public servants.”

    Rasmusson said that although she will officially be chambered in Mahnomen County, her judicial rotation will have her in Crookston often and, therefore, she and her family won’t have to leave the community. Although the judges’ rotation varies, she said she’ll typically spend two weeks on the bench in Crookston, which will be mixed in with time on the bench in Mahnomen and in smaller communities like Warren, Ada and Red Lake Falls.

    “It’s very good that I can do my work and still live in Crookston,” Rasmusson said. “We can still continue to be members of this community and work hard here, and I’ll be able to serve Mahnomen County and other communities as well.”

     Rasmusson currently is a partner at Rust, Stock, Rasmusson, & Knutson, P.A., where she practices primarily in family law and litigation matters. Prior to her being named partner, Rasmusson served as a law clerk and associate attorney at Rust, Stock, Rasmusson, & Knutson, P.A. She received her B.A. from St. Catherine University, her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law, and her M.A. from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

    Rasmusson previously served as the chair of the 14th District Bar Association and the Polk County Developmental Achievement Center. For the past eight years, Ms. Rasmusson has served on the RiverView Healthcare Association Board of Directors, where she is currently serving as chair.

    Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District consists of Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau.

    So when will she first don the black robe and preside over a courtroom for the first time? Rasmusson thinks it’ll be sometime in July. “I have to wrap up my private practice work and work out a schedule with the governor,” she said. “This has been a long and hard process but I’m glad that it has been, because it just shows that there are a lot of wonderful people on the bench.”

    More information on the Commission on Judicial Selection, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found at