New Arguments, Venue for Free Minnesota Lawsuit

| Governor’s Executive Orders Exceed Constitutional Authority, Delegation of Powers |

Minneapolis – Following guidance from the State Court of Appeals, the Free Minnesota Coalition today refiled it’s lawsuit in District Court. Several new plaintiffs and new legal arguments accompany the filing.

Earlier, this month, the coalition petitioned the court to overturn some of the governor’s executive orders affecting small businesses. The case asserted the governor’s executive orders were unconstitutional because they violated the 14th amendment principle of equal protection. The lawsuit said the governor arbitrarily treated similar businesses differently. The Court of Appeals did not agree that it had original jurisdiction to hear the coalition’s case and dismissed it without prejudice, meaning the coalition is free to refile in District Court. Another lawsuit led by the Upper Midwest Law Center is also now pursuing that same equal protection argument in federal court.

Maintaining that the governor’s executive orders are unconstitutional under the US Constitution, the coalition now argues that they are also in violation of Minnesota’s Constitution and is seeking an emergency injunction to stop them.

“The statutes authorizing peacetime emergency executive orders are themselves unconstitutional,” said attorney for the coalition, Erick Kaardal. “Under the state constitution and appellate case law, pure legislative power cannot be delegated to or exercised by the executive branch.”

Members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Steve Drazkowski, Jeremy Munson, Cal Bahr and Tim Miller, who comprise the New House Republican Caucus have also joined as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Coalition spokesman, Dan McGrath adds that there are problems with the governor’s orders even before considering the constitutional question. “The emergency powers statute does not even contain a provision for public health,” he said. “This is being considered a natural disaster, but we think of disasters like tornadoes and wildfires as things with finite area of effect and duration. Claiming public health, the governor could assume dictatorial powers over all areas of the state in perpetuity. It’s inconceivable that the legislature intended to abdicate it’s authority in this way.”

Plaintiffs include the Free Minnesota Coalition, representing over 40 small businesses, State Representatives Steve Drazkowski, Jeremy Munson, Cal Bahr and Tim Miller.

Read the petition, here.

Help fund the lawsuit, here: First Liberties Defense Fund

Join the Free Minnesota Coalition!

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UPDATE: Hearing Date Set