New chief justice to be sworn in todayby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Eric Magnuson has spent the past five years recommending names of possible judges to Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Now, it's Magnuson's turn.
He'll be sworn in as the next chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon in St. Paul.
Magnuson, 57, becomes the first chief justice in seven decades who hadn't already been on the Supreme Court before taking the top job. His appointment also marks a significant change in the court's make-up, with a majority of the bench now made up of Pawlenty appointees.
The governor and new chief justice have close ties beyond Magnuson's role in recommending judicial nominees. Magnuson also was once a partner in the same firm -- Rider Bennett -- that employed both Pawlenty and his wife, Mary.
Magnuson is replacing Russell Anderson, who is retiring both because of his age and to look after his ailing wife.