5 Lawsuits in Minnesota
(1) Lawsuit (Quo Warranto) challenges governor’s authority to issue the peacetime emergency executive orders during Covid-19 pandemic. Lawsuit claims Walz has exceeded his legal authority in a variety of ways, starting with his alleged violation of the “non-delegation doctrine,” since his executive orders are an “exercise of pure legislative power without judicial oversight.” Additionally, Minnesota law does not authorize the governor to invoke emergency powers for public health purposes. The legislature explicitly rejected attempts to amend the act to include public health as a reason to invoke it.
The Governor has exceeded his legal authority in three ways:
- Executive orders violate the non-delegation doctrine because the executive orders are an exercise of pure legislative power without judicial oversight.
- Minnesota Statutes § 12.31 unconstitutionally authorizes a legislative veto; there is no Minnesota Constitutional provision authorizing legislative vetoes.
- Minnesota Statutes § 12.31 subd. 2 does not authorize the Governor to invoke emergency powers for public health purposes, so the Governor is unconstitutionally expanding his powers.
Public health crisis extend for long periods of time indefinitely, and the executive orders associated are not limited in scope. This is why, just prior to Governor Walz declaring a peacetime emergency, a bill was introduced in the MN House to allow him to declare a peacetime emergency for a “public health emergency.” This bill did not pass, but he declared one anyway. Without declaring a peacetime emergency, he would not have the authority to dictate stay at home orders, or Minnesota businesses and churches close.
Filed 4/29/2020 by Free Minnesota Coalition, New House Republican Caucus, Southwest School of Dance, Trev’s Kitchen, Prestige Gymnastics, Yoga by Billstopia, Title Boxing Club, Duffy’s Bar and Grill, Flaherty’s Arden Bowl, and Three Rivers Fitness. Reps. Steve Drazkowski, Cal Bahr, Tim Miller, Jeremy Munson, Shane Mekeland (R-Clear Lake), Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), Eric Lucero (R-Dayton), Joe McDonald (R-Delano), Jeff Backer (R-Browns Valley), and Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe). Minnesota Senate: Sens. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), Mike Goggin (R-Red Wing), and Andrew Mathews (R-Milaca).
- Petition draft 4/29/2020: Petition for Declaratory Judgement under Minnesota Statutes 14.44 Challenging the Constitutionality of Governor Walz’s Executive Orders 20-20, 20-33, 20-38 and 20-40.
- Petition draft 5/28/2020
- Press releases: Free Minnesota Coalition: https://freeminnesota.net/judge-orders-walz-to-show-legal-justification-for-emergency-orders-by-june-18th, and New House Republican Caucus: https://www.newhousegop.com/lawsuit_on_the_governor_s_emergency_powers
- 9/1/2020: Case ruled in Governor’s favor, Free Minnesota Coalition will appeal
- Donate: https://freeminnesota.net/first-liberties-defense-fund
- Donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/StopWalz
(2) Lawsuit 20-cv-01100 filed in regards to religious freedom against Governor Walz. The complaint asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to strike down Walz’s emergency executive orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic as unconstitutional under the First, Fifth, and 14th Amendments.
“The State does not have a compelling reason for prohibiting church services where congregants can otherwise practice adequate social distancing protocol, especially when compared to the vast secular activities exempted under the EOs, nor has it selected the least restrictive means to further any purported interest,” states the complaint.
According to the lawsuit, the Walz administration has “deprived all Plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” because his executive orders “ban Plaintiffs’ work and speech but except other similarly situated persons and businesses from their restrictions.”
“In this litigation we ask the Court to declare Gov. Walz’s executive orders unconstitutional and enjoin him, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and the county attorneys charged with enforcement of the executive orders from enforcing them. The Plaintiff businesses also seek money damages from Gov. Walz for the tremendous losses they have faced due to the executive orders,” James Dickey, lead trial counsel for the law firm, explained in a statement.
- Filed 5/6/2020 by Upper Midwest Law Center on behalf of Northland Baptist Church of St. Paul, John Bruski; Living Word Christian Center, Glow In One Mini Golf, Aaron Kessler, Myron’s Cards and Gifts, Larry Evenson, The A J Hulse Company, Andrew Hulse, Gay Bunch-Hulse, and 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons
- Article in Minnesota Sun
(3) Lawsuit against city of Minneapolis, city of Duluth, Ramsey county and Olmstead county for unlawfully appointing staffers to be absentee ballot election judges and not properly authorizing and appointing election judges by calling balanced numbers of Republicans and Democrats from a list.
Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) first sued Minneapolis, then Duluth, Ramsey County, and Olmsted County. On July 31, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered the consolidation of MVA’s four petitions for Writs of Mandamus (asking the court to order these local officials to follow the law) into the Ramsey County District Courtroom of Thomas A. Gilligan, Jr.
MVA called the development “great news,” because it “indicates the court’s seriousness in adjudicating this issue that hopefully will result in a statewide precedent.”
- Filed ________ by Minnesota Voters Alliance and Republican Party of Minnesota.
- In a separate suit, MVA sues Steven Simon for writing an “administrative rule” that does away with the party balance requirement for both Republican and Democrat election judges. suit seeking a declaratory judgement at the Minnesota Court of Appeals to rule that the “Secretary of State’s published rule 8210.2450, is in direct conflict with Minnesota Statute 203B.121, and must be declared invalid.”
- Article from Alpha News
- It’s important to have election judges at the polls, or reviewing mail-in ballots. After the Coleman-Franken race Minnesota correctly passed a law (203B.121) saying that absentee ballot boards must be appointed by the cities and counties and must have party balance (republicans and democratic election judges reviewing every ballot).
- Interview with the attorney Erick Kardaal: https://alphanewsmn.com/video-alpha-news-speaks-with-attorney-behind-election-covid-19-lawsuits/
(4) Federal complaint seeks to nullify the governor’s mask mandate
Governor Executive Order 20-81 prohibits appearing in public without a protective face mask, yet MN Statue 609.735 (1963), criminalizes wearing a mask in a public place.
Filed 8/4/20 by Minnesota Voters Alliance, New House Republican Caucus and a group of independent Minnesota voters.
The concern of the voters was that the secretary of state Steve Simon on July 22nd issued a policy saying that election judges would take down names of voters who didn’t comply with Governor Walz’s mask mandate ,which would then create a list of those who wear masks and those who don’t wear masks. Statute 609.735 is a strict liability statute – no intent required…if you are wearing a mask, you are liable for a crime. Voters are concerned that election judges will take down their names for prosecution.
- Press conference: https://electionintegritywatch.org/polling-place-mask-mandate-challenged-in-lawsuit?fbclid=IwAR0OpcijKeQeBMlQl2fKlRW1RFZO9sIKlC6T7h_JARkdCZNP4ChkV9LRzcs
- Topic analysis: Why Gov’s Minnesota Mask Mandate Order Is Illegal, Unenforceable: https://gallagherdefense.com/2020/07/26/govs-mn-mask-mandate-illegal/
- Topic analysis: Repeal the Minnesota anti-mask law? We’re all criminals now: https://gallagherdefense.com/2020/03/28/minnesota-anti-mask-law/
(5) Civil Rights lawsuit filed in federal court against Governor Walz regarding violations of freedom of religion. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Cornerstone Church of Alexandria, et al. v. Tim Walz, et al.
Suit claims two of the governor’s executive orders (20-74 and 20-81) place “unreasonable restrictions” on places of worship by limiting indoor gatherings to 50 percent of capacity, requiring social distancing and face masks, and restricting outdoor gatherings to 250 people. Suit also seeks “a pronouncement that Walz’s executive orders violate the Minnesota Constitution’s Article III separation of powers provision.” Also charged in the lawsuit with Walz are Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson, Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly, and Crow Wing County Attorney Donald Ryan.
Filed August 13, 2020 by The Thomas More Society on behalf of Cornerstone Church of Alexandria, Land of Promise Church, and Lifespring Church.
- Press release from The Thomas Moore Society
- Article in Alpha News
- Interview with the attorney Erick Kardaal: https://alphanewsmn.com/video-alpha-news-speaks-with-attorney-behind-election-covid-19-lawsuits/ – “TX and IL made accommodations for places of worship because we don’t prosecute people who go to church. Walz has designed Executive order 20-81 so that people are prosecuted for not wearing a masks in church, and leaders of the church can be prosecuted for not making church attendees wear masks. This was done purposefully – they could have put a religious accommodation but they instead referred to churches as a non profit business.”
- attorney Kaardal observed that other state leaders who have persisted in this type of religious discrimination have been slapped down by federal courts, as in the case of New York’s Governor Cuomo.
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Update from Action 4 Liberty 1. Why don’t we sue Governor Walz? There are several lawsuits currently in the Minnesota court system. One lawsuit filed in Ramsey County was thrown out by the judge. Other counties are considering the merits of cases involving the business shutdown and mask mandates. We are crossing our fingers thatContinue reading “Ramsey lawsuit, recall Walz effort”
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