For Immediate Release:
June 23, 2020
Katie Fulkerson, 812-369-1751
(Golden Valley, MN) – On June 22, 2020, Upper Midwest Law Center, the Minnesota-based public interest law firm, filed its Second Amended Complaint in its case on behalf of two churches (Northland Baptist Church and Living Word Christian Center) and three businesses (Myron’s Cards and Gifts, 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons, and Glow In One Mini Golf) against the Governor’s series of Shut-Down Orders, because of their discriminatory and unconstitutional treatment of small businesses and churches. This is the step necessary for UMLC to file a motion for an early summary judgment decision from the Judge on the entire case.
UMLC, and UMLC Lawyers’ Advisory Board member, Doug Wardlow, also joined with Gary Leistico and his team at Rinke Noonan, the lawyers for Shady’s Bar and Grill, as co-counsel to pursue their defense and counterclaims against the same unlawful orders.
UMLC’s President, Attorney Doug Seaton, said, “Our next steps in our Northland Baptist case, and our participation and support in Shady’s legal fight, are necessary to roll-back Governor Walz’s unprecedented usurpation of all power in Minnesota for months on end. His lawyers claim he can do anything, impose any penalty, pick winners and losers arbitrarily, and force Minnesotans to bow to AG Ellison’s temporary restraining orders, all without Legislative check or Court oversight. We do not believe this is just or lawful in our constitutional republic. These orders are not acceptable to Minnesotans if we are a democratically self-governing people, and cannot be allowed to become precedent for such extreme restrictions on our liberty in the future.”
This new initiative should result in final motion hearings as soon as possible under court schedules in which the Law Center will seek to strike down the Walz Executive Orders, obtain remedies for our clients, relief for all Minnesotans, and a ruling limiting such orders in the future.
UMLC Lawyers’ Advisory Board member, Doug Wardlow, explained, “Governor Walz’s and AG Ellison’s unlawful actions trample on Minnesotans’ constitutionally protected freedoms and make a mockery of representative government. By joining forces with Shady’s lawyers, the two most public challenges to the Shut-Down Orders have now been allied.” Shady’s counsel, Gary Leistico, added that, “Even in a time of a pandemic, it is necessary for the Governor to follow the rule of law, and here the Governor’s executive orders exceed the statutory power delegated to him by the Legislature. The Governor’s actions deny the process that the Legislature set out for times like these. If we don’t hold the Governor to the law, then any administration could take similar actions and issue similar orders that place restrictions on people’s conduct and limitations on businesses without compliance with the statutory process.”
All documents related to the case are publicly available here.