Chief Justice Eric Magnuson at the Finnegan FOI Awards–Press conference.

Retiring Chief Justice Eric Magnuson was the keynote speaker at the 2010 Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, Finnegan Freedom of Information Award Ceremony. The 2010 Recipient is Reed Anfinson, Publisher of the Swift County Monitor. Chief Justice Magnuson was the keynote speaker right before Anfinson got his award from John R. Finnegan himself. Questions from the press were wide ranging from his future to individual cases. He said he wanted to return to private practice, and that he valued openness in the judicial system, had a fine relationship with the Governor even when he disagreed with him, and worried about budget pressure on judicial innovations. His entire speech, is available on’s website.


Some selected highlights:

Q : Are you going back to Burns and Morgan?   A : Yes, I want to return to my former Appelate Practice.

I’ve come to admire brevity and coming to the point…

Q : Can you reflect on the Canvas Board Experience.

A : …It was such a blurr, but it was a wonderful process to do out in the open…”

Q: “Will your hyroglephics sheet be public some day?  A : I think I have it with me…”

Q: What qualities should we look for in the next justice?  A : “Expect someone who is dedicated to the court, dedicated to the citizens of the state, who wants to see the Judicial Branch remain a co-equal branch of Government.”

Q : You came in from the outside–was that a difficult transition?  A : “It was difficult-there was so much jargon that I had to learn…”

Q : Might we see you in the public sector again?  A : “I have no plans to do that.”

Q : How’s your relationship with Governor Pawlenty?  A : “It’s wonderful, he and I have always gotten along, just because we didn’t necessarily see eye to eye…”

Q : How did you take to the cloistered and rather isolated judicial life?  A :  “I was never very cloistered or very isolated, the way I approached the job it took me out of the office…”

Q : And at the end he addresses the issue of whether budget cuts threaten the Judiciary.  “I think the Judiciary is struggling right now…”  “Our efforts at innovation will be hampered.”

Comments are closed.