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Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, pictured in this Jan. 14, 2009, file photo as he sought funding for courts. On Thursday, he announced his plans to leave the state's highest court effective June 30 after serving since 2008. "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," he said in announcing his resignation. State Capitol Bureau file photo

Magnuson stepping down as chief justice

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ST. PAUL -- Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, who helped oversee a U.S. Senate recount and argued against massive budget cuts, will leave office June 30 after two years on Minnesota's highest court.

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His announcement Thursday came just days before the Minnesota Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case challenging Gov. Tim Pawlenty's authority to unilaterally cut the state budget.

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