Court to consider election for next chief justice

The Minnesota Supreme Court hears oral arguments at 11 a.m. Tuesday on an effort to force an election to replace Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, who's going back to private practice.

Attorneys Greg Wersal and Jill Clark want the court to order the secretary of state to put the office of chief justice on the ballot.

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

Wersal and Clark say justices should not be allowed to keep elections off the ballot by timing their resignations.

Wersal won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002 that led to the removal of most restrictions on campaigning by judicial candidates.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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