Dayton names Lillehaug to Minn. Supreme Court

David Lillehaug, Mark Dayton
Gov. Mark Dayton, right, applauds after he announced the appointment of David Lillehaug, left, to the Minnesota Supreme Court during a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn.
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Lillehaug has been linked to Democratic candidates and DFL causes over the past few decades but he says he'll leave that behind when he's sworn in as a justice in May.

Video: Lillehaug discusses Supreme Court appointment

"Like other lawyers who have joined this marvelous court, my life has changed for good," Lillehaug said. "I will leave behind the world of advocacy and I will swear a solemn oath to be fair and impartial. I will swear to apply the law without fear or favor."

Lillehaug served as Dayton's attorney in the 2010 gubernatorial recount against Republican Tom Emmer. He also represented Sen. Al Franken, and worked for former Sen. Walter Mondale.

Lillehaug also successfully sued the state over its handgun permit law. The decision in that case allowed churches to ban guns on their property.

He also helped in the legal effort to overturn then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to unilaterally enact spending cuts in 2009.

Lillehaug will replace Justice Paul Anderson, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 in May.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.