Minnesota Supreme Court Grants Review of Governor Walz’s Emergency Powers

The Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) is pleased to announce that the Minnesota Supreme Court has granted a review of the case challenging Governor Walz’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit, filed on August 20, 2020, by sixteen Minnesota citizens, business owners, and churches, was initially a challenge to the Executive Order mandating masks in indoor public spaces. UMLC asserts that only the state legislature has the authority to enact such laws, which must also be consistent with the Minnesota and U.S. Constitutions.

UMLC’s challenge has already been to the Supreme Court once, where, on February 8, 2023, the Court agreed with UMLC that this issue was of urgent statewide importance and directed the Court of Appeals to examine it. The Court of Appeals then held that Governor Walz had authority to declare the peacetime emergency, and now the Supreme Court has granted review of that key legal question.

“We are encouraged by the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision to review this case. We believe that the Governor did not have the authority under Minnesota law to declare an emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UMLC Trial Counsel James Dickey. “State law required the Governor to ‘show his work’ and prove that localities didn’t have adequate resources to deal with COVID-19 and that COVID-19 caused damage to property. He never showed that. Instead, he ruled by decree for 18 months. We are calling on the Supreme Court to hold that Minnesota’s Governor must follow the law, and the law cannot give free rein to any current or future Governor without limit.”

Click here to view the granted petition for review.

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