“It has been my privilege to serve as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for the past two years,” Magnuson said in a letter to Governor Tim Pawlenty. “I have found the position to be both challenging and rewarding. However, for reasons personal to me and my family, I have decided to step down and return to private practice.”
As Chief Justice, Magnuson has served as chair of the Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the Judicial Branch. He has spearheaded a number of collaborations in efforts to build support for adequate funding for the justice system, and to identify ways to make the justice system more efficient. He has also championed the increased use of technology in court operations.
Magnuson was named Minnesota’s 21st Chief Justice on Mar. 17, 2008, by Governor Pawlenty, taking office June 2, 2008. As Chief Justice, Magnuson has been an energetic advocate for the Judicial Branch, traveling extensively throughout the state and speaking often to community groups, students, and local public officials.
Prior to being named Chief Justice, Magnuson, 59, was an attorney practicing in state and federal appellate courts. Early in his legal career he was a law clerk to former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert J. Sheran, and a law clerk to former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Douglas K. Amdahl, who was a Hennepin County District Court judge at the time. Magnuson earned his juris doctorate degree from William Mitchell College of Law and his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota.