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David Lillehaug says throat cancer won’t keep him from state Supreme Court job

Courtesy of the Governor's Office
David Lillehaug was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Gov. Mark Dayton earlier this year.

David Lillehaug, the DFL-connected lawyer who was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Gov. Mark Dayton, said Wednesday that he has throat cancer.

Lillehaug said in a statement, though, that the cancer is curable and that he will join the court Monday, as scheduled.

He’s replacing Justice Paul Anderson, who stepped down this month at the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Lillehaug, 58, is a former U.S. attorney and had worked on Dayton’s recount effort after the 2010 gubernatorial election; before that, he’d worked on Sen. Al Franken’s recount victory over Norm Coleman.

In his statement, Lillehaug said:

Last week, I learned that I have throat cancer. Fortunately, it has been caught very early, it is localized, and it is highly curable.

My doctors at the nationally renowned Virginia Piper Institute, part of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, are preparing a seven-week non-surgical treatment plan to start in mid-June. All agree that this development will not prevent me from serving as an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Monday, June 3, I will join the Court as scheduled. Both the Governor and the Chief Justice support this plan. While I may experience unpleasant side effects from the treatment (including around late June, the time of my formal investiture), I expect to participate fully in the Court’s ongoing work.

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