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Monday, March 17, 2008

New MN Supreme Court chief? Horton hears a Scandahoovian

'Tis a great day for the ... Nordic?
Faith and begora, it may be the day for the wearing of the green, but not at the Minnesota Supreme Court, where, to the surprise of absolutely no one, the leadership torch has been passed from a Scandinavian to a Scandinavian.

Governor Tim Pawlenty has appointed friend, and advisor and former work colleague Eric Magnuson to replace retiring Chief Justice Russell Anderson on the Minnesota Supreme Court. (Click here for the Minnesota Lawyer article.) Magnuson is a highly respected lawyer who has served as head of the Commission on Judicial Selection under Pawlenty.

It has become a running joke in legal circles that, of the seven justices on the Minnesota high court, three are named Anderson. Another justice who retired in December, Sam Hanson, also was part of the "Scandinavian bloc" on the seven-justice court. With the appointment of Magnuson, the Anderson bloc goes down to two -- Associate Justices Paul Anderson and Barry Anderson. But you know the old saying, two Andersons are better than one. In any case, the appointment preserves the all-important "son" bloc at three justices.

Presumably the new appointment is being toasted with aquavit rather than the traditional green beer -- and instead of the traditional celebratory corn beef and cabbage, it's lutefisk and ... ummm ... hotdish? You get the idea. I'm off to Ikea to buy my gift for the new chief.

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