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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty Appoints Pro-Life Advocate to Head Supreme Court

by Steven Ertelt | WASHINGTON, DC | LIFENEWS.COM | 3/17/08 9:00 AM

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty Appoints Pro-Life Advocate to Head Supreme Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 17
, 2008

St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is drawing praise from pro-life advocates for his appointment of Eric Magnuson as the next chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The state’s high court has been a thorn in the side of pro-life groups for years for a 1995 decision requiring the state to pay for abortions with tax dollars.

Magnuson replaces Russell Anderson who announced last week he would retire from the court in June.

Over a decade ago the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision in Doe v. Gomez which ruled the privacy clause in the state constitution should be misused to protect a so-called right to abortion.

It also forced the state to spend taxpayer funds paying for abortions even though the Supreme Court has upheld the right to Congress and other states to reject that.

Magnuson wrote an amicus brief for a pro-life group in the case arguing that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund abortions with their tax money.

Scott Fischbach, the director of the pro-life group, told LifeNews.com on Monday he was delighted with Pawlenty’s decision of Magnuson for the high court.

"This is the fourth appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court by pro-life Governor Tim Pawlenty and we are pleased with his appointments," Fischbach said. "Governor Pawlenty has been a strong pro-life Governor signing into law our Woman’s Right to Know law as well as our Positive Alternatives law that provides grants to pregnancy care centers."

The case would need to be overturned if Minnesota wants to prohibit abortions if Roe is ever reversed.

Fischbach previously talked about the Gomez case with LifeNews.com.

"What they did in Doe v. Gomez was found an absolute right to abortion in the Minnesota Constitution, and that needs to be addressed," he said.

Minnesota judges don’t require legislative confirmation so Magnuson will not have to go before the state legislature for a confirmation vote.

Karen Smigielski, a spokeswoman for the Human Services Department, told the Associated Press that the state paid for 3,950 abortions in 2004 and spent $1.2 million paying for abortions in 2003.

Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – http://www.mccl.org