ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Wilhelmina Wright to the state Supreme Court.

Dayton announced Wright's appointment Monday. The 48-year-old St. Paul resident will be the first black woman to serve on the state's highest court.

Former Gov. Jesse Ventura appointed Wright to the Court of Appeals in 2002. She was previously a trial judge in Ramsey County District Court and before that, an assistant U.S. attorney in Minnesota where she prosecuted violent crime and economic fraud cases.

Wright graduated from Yale University and got her law degree from Harvard.

Wright replaces retiring Justice Helen Meyer. This is Dayton's first appointment to the state Supreme Court, and the first time a Democratic governor has made such an appointment since Gov. Rudy Perpich in 1991.