On October 13, 2021, UMLC argued in the Minnesota Court of Appeals that Governor Walz’ emergency powers and mask mandate were unconstitutional. UMLC also argued that the mask mandate was illegal because it conflicts with a Minnesota criminal law outlawing mask-wearing in public, Minn. Stat. 609.735. UMLC’s James Dickey appeared on behalf of the individuals, churches, and businesses who challenged the Minnesota mask mandate. The Solicitor General, Liz Kramer, appeared on behalf of Governor Walz. You can listen to a recording of the argument here.
The Court of Appeals focused heavily on the Governor’s argument that the lawsuit is “moot” because Governor Walz has ended the mask mandate. UMLC responded that the Court should still decide the case, for two reasons. First, the Governor has refused to agree that he will not re-impose a mask mandate on Minnesotans. Second, the mask mandate was imposed and then rescinded in a time too short to decide the case on its merits.
UMLC challenged the mask mandate because Minnesota Statutes Chapter 12 gives unconstitutional emergency powers to Governor Walz. Walz used his unconstitutional emergency powers to force Minnesotans to “mask up.” He also selectively shut down Minnesota’s economy and reordered Minnesotans’ social lives. This “delegation” of power is unconstitutional because it has no real limit. Other states, like Wisconsin, require the Legislature to agree to extend an emergency. In contrast, Minnesota requires both houses of the Legislature to agree to end an emergency.
UMLC’s challenge to the mask mandate is one of many cases where UMLC is fighting on behalf of the people of Minnesota against government overreach. UMLC believes that the Court of Appeals should strike down the mask mandate and restore the constitutional balance of powers in Minnesota. If you agree and support UMLC’s work, please consider a tax-exempt, confidential donation.