Judge Orders Walz to Show Legal Justification for Emergency Orders by June 18th
Minneapolis – Quo warranto is a Latin legal term meaning “by what warrant,” or, “by what authority?” That question is the basis of a lawsuit filed by the Free Minnesota Coalition and the New House Republican Caucus challenging the governor’s authority to issue the peacetime emergency executive orders he has in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In response to the petition for quo warranto, Judge Thomas Gilligan has ordered Governor Walz to provide legal justification for his assumption of power in the face of three key arguments asserted by the plaintiffs. Should any be found to hold merit, all of the governor’s peacetime emergency orders would be rendered null and void.
The court directed the governor to answer the key arguments by June 18th, showing:
- That when the governor issued his executive orders, he did not exceed his authority under the Minnesota Constitution’s separation of powers principle regarding the non-delegation doctrine;
- Whether the governor’s executive orders exceeded his authority because the statutory authority relied upon, MN Statute 12.31, is unconstitutional because the provision authorizes a legislative veto;
- Whether the governor’s executive orders exceeded his authority because MN Statute 12.31, subdivision 2 does not authorize the governor to invoke emergency powers for a public health emergency.
Although the petitioners requested expedited review, the attorney general’s office argued for more time and Judge Gilligan granted it. A hearing on the merits of the case has been set for July 16th at 10:00 AM in the Ramsey County Courthouse.
“With a writ of quo waranto, the burden is on the governor to prove that he had the constitutional authority to exercise the powers he asserted with his emergency executive orders,” said coalition spokesman, Dan McGrath. “If our lawsuit prevails, all of the peacetime emergency orders will be nullified and the balance of power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches in state government will be restored.”
Plaintiffs in the quo warranto lawsuit include the Free Minnesota Coalition, now representing over 40 small businesses, State Representatives Steve Drazkowski, Jeremy Munson, Cal Bahr and Tim Miller. They are represented by attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, PA.
Subscribe to receive a notice when new items are posted at Free Minnesota.