Minnesota Supreme Court: Governor’s Authority to Declare Peacetime Emergency Must Be Addressed


Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Chris Mulcahey

[email protected]

Minnesota Supreme Court: Governor’s Authority to Declare Peacetime Emergency Must Be Addressed

The Court of Appeals must decide the level of Authority given to Governor Walz

Golden Valley, MN – Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion in Snell vs. Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota, that sends the case back to the Court of Appeals to decide whether the Minnesota Emergency Management Act gives the Governor authority to declare a peacetime emergency for public health reasons. In the Court’s opinion, they write that this question is “an issue of statewide importance that should be decided immediately.”

“This is a significant victory for our clients and for all Minnesotans,” said Doug Seaton, Founder and President of UMLC. “We have consistently argued that Governor Walz does not have the power to declare a peacetime emergency in response to a public health crisis, and we look forward to this matter being promptly decided in the Court of Appeals.”

On August 20, 2020, the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), on behalf of sixteen Minnesota citizens, business owners, and churches, filed suit in Ramsey County District Court to invalidate Governor Walz’s Executive Order requiring most Minnesotans to wear masks in indoor public spaces. The Petitioners represented noted that only the state legislature has the power to make laws and assert that Walz has exceeded his authority.

The Ramsey County District Court dismissed the lawsuit, and UMLC appealed that decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals (COA) issued an opinion in December 2021 declining to decide Snell on the merits reasoning that the governor had ended his mandate. UMLC appealed the COA’s decision to the Supreme Court.


Upper Midwest Law Center is a non-profit, public-interest law firm with the mission to initiate pro-freedom litigation to protect against constitutional violations, government overreach, special interest agendas, and public union corruption and abuses. UMLC is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Related News

Sign up for email updates

Get on the list for Upper Midwest Law Center email updates.

Social updates

Stay up to date by following us on social media.

Tell us your story

Perhaps you have another issue you wish to bring to our attention. Share your story with us.