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Justice David Lillehaug to step down from Minnesota Supreme Court

Associate Justice David L. Lillehaug asks questions during oral arguments in The Ninetieth Minnesota State Senate, et al. vs. Mark B. Dayton, et al as the Minnesota Supreme Court meets at the State Capitol in St. Paul on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Pool photo / Leila Navidi1 / 2
David Lillehaug2 / 2

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug announced Wednesday, June 12, he has Parkinson's disease and will be stepping down from the state's highest court.

In a statement provided by the court, Lillehaug said his disease is "at an early stage, it's well-managed, and I feel great."

Appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2013 to replace justice Paul Anderson, Lillehaug secured reelection in 2014 with 54% of the vote. His term was set to end in 2021, but he plans to resign in July 2020.

“I have loved my six years of work on the Court and had planned to serve for a few more years," he said in the statement. "Even so, I’d like to have a more flexible schedule to work part-time. This will allow my wife and me to do more travel and the outdoor physical activities that we love.

"I look forward to the coming year on the Court. The opportunity to work with my colleagues for the people of Minnesota continues to be the greatest honor of my life.”

Lillehaug grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., and attended Augustana College before graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School. He worked as an issues aide for former Vice President Walter Mondale's presidential campaign in 1984, and was later appointed Minnesota's U.S. attorney by President Bill Clinton in 1994. While in private practice, he worked as an attorney for Dayton during the governor's race recount in 2010.

“Justice Lillehaug is a brilliant legal mind and true public servant,” said Democratic Gov. Tim Walz. “For decades, he’s brought his deep constitutional knowledge and strong moral compass to nearly every constitutional issue facing Minnesota.

"I was sorry to learn of Justice Lillehaug’s anticipated retirement, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the people of Minnesota.”

Robb Jeffries

Robb Jeffries is a news coordinator for Forum News Service. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and previously served as a reporter and copy editor for the Grand Forks Herald. Reach him at rjeffries@forumcomm.com and follow him on Twitter at @robbjeffries.

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