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Associated Press, Published April 20 2010

Minnesota high court asked to consider election for next chief justice

ST. PAUL (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court will consider whether to force an election to replace Chief Justice Eric Magnuson this fall.

Attorney Jill Clark asked the high court on Tuesday to force the secretary of state to put the office of chief justice on the ballot. Clark says the early resignation of Magnuson is one of many cases where judge positions are kept off the ballot by timed departures.

Magnuson was due to stand for election this fall, but resigned effective June 30. That allows Gov. Tim Pawlenty to appoint a replacement who would not have to face voters until 2012.

State lawyer Alan Gilbert says the governor is constitutionally obligated to appoint a replacement. He says the constitution requires the appointee to hold office for least a year before facing an election.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.