Outgoing Gov. Rudy Perpich has appointed Sandra Gardebring to the Minnesota Supreme Court, making the state the nation's first with a majority of women on its high court.

The Democratic governor made the appointment Friday, his last full workday in the office.Gardebring joins Rosalie Wahl, M. Jeanne Coyne and Esther Tomljanovich in the majority on the seven-member court. The minority consists of A.M. "Sandy" Keith, Lawrence Yetka and John Simonett.

"I don't know if they (the women justices) will change the focus of the court but I do believe we will feel a difference," said Cara Lee Neville, a Hennepin County District Court judge who becomes president of the National Association of Women Judges this year.