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Blatz, Kathleen Ann

House 1979-82 (District 38A); House 1983-92 (District 41B); House 1993-94 (District 40B)

Party when first elected:  Independent Republican

Counties Served:  Hennepin

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 7/22/1954
Birth Place: Bloomington, Minnesota
Birth County: Hennepin
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death:
Gender: Female
Religion:
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Bloomington
Occupation (when first elected): Psychiatric Social Worker

EDUCATION

Academy of Holy Angels High School; Secondary;
University of Notre Dame; B.A.; Sociology, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Betta Kappa, 1976
University of Minnesota, School of Social Work; M.S.W.; Social Work, 1978
University of Minnesota, Law School; J.D.; Cum Laude, 1984

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Legislative Commission to Review Administrative Rules (Vice-Chair); 1985 to 1986
County Attorney: Hennepin County, Minnesota (Assistant County Attorney); 1992 to 1993
Judge: Hennepin County District Court/4th Judicial District, Minnesota (Appointed by Governor Arne Carlson); 01/1994 to 10/1996 [Appointed]
Judge: Minnesota Supreme Court (Associate Justice, Appointed by Governor Arne Carlson); 11/1996 to 01/1998 [Appointed]
Judge: Minnesota Supreme Court (Chief Justice); 01/1998 to 01/10/2006 [Appointed]
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (Interim Chair); 02/23/2017 to ? [Appointed]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single (when first elected); Thomas "Tom" Berkelman (married in 1984; divorced after she left the legislature); Wheelock Whitney (married in April 2005)
Children: Three children: Hunter, Carter, and Max (sons; one was born in 1986, while she was in office)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Jerome V. Blatz  - Father
Thomas R. Berkelman  - Husband

GENERAL NOTES

She was Minnesota's first female Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

At 24 years of age she was the youngest female legislator at the time of swearing in.

She was appointed a Special Master during the Minnesota state government shutdown in 2011. She heard arguments for funding requests and was the person responsible for interpreting the ruling by Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin related to shutdown funding.

Total Days Served: 5501

SESSIONS SERVED

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 40B
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/24/1994 (unfinished term)
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
Reason for unfinished term: Appointed to other office
Session Notes: She was appointed as a Hennepin County District Court Judge on December 3, 1993.

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 41B
Elected: 11/6/1990
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Game and Fish
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Justice Division
  • Judiciary: Family Law
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Property Tax

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 41B
Elected: 11/8/1988
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/3/1989 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Insurance
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Justice Division
  • Judiciary: Criminal Justice Division: Children's Justice
  • Judiciary: Privacy
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
  • Rules and Legislative Administration: Rules
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Property Tax
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 41B
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/2/1989
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney; Popham, Haik, Schnobrich, and Kaufman Law Firm
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance: Insurance
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Child Abuse/Child Protection
  • Judiciary: Crime and Family Law Division
  • Judiciary: Data Practices
  • Metropolitan Affairs
  • Metropolitan Affairs: Finance
  • Metropolitan Affairs: Transportation
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Property Tax Division
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 41B
Elected: 11/6/1984
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/8/1985 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney; Popham, Haik, Schnobrich, and Kaufman Law Firm
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Crime and Family Law (Chair)
  • Crime and Family Law: Family Law
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Local Government Finance Division

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 41B
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/7/1985
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Law Clerk/Law Student
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • General Legislation and Veterans Affairs
  • General Legislation and Veterans Affairs: Gaming Division
  • Health and Welfare
  • Health and Welfare: Health Care
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Economic Development Division

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 38A
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Employee Assistance Program Coordinator
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice: Juvenile Justice and Crime Victims
  • Health and Welfare
  • Health and Welfare: Health Care
  • Local and Urban Affairs: Local Government Financing
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Local Government Aids and Bonding
  • Taxes: Tax Laws Division

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 38A
Elected: 11/7/1978
Residence: Bloomington
Term of Office: 1/3/1979 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Psychiatric Social Worker
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance: Banking
  • Health and Welfare
  • Health and Welfare: Social Services
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Division II - Property and Natural Resources Division
Articles & Books About
Wetzel, Matt. "Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz Served House from '78 to '94." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, January 30, 1998, p. 4.



The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.