Four Minnesota lawmakers file suit challenging governor's emergency powers

The four members of the New House Republican Caucus filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Tim Walz's authority to declare a peacetime emergency and issue executive orders.


ST. PAUL — The four legislators comprising the New House Republican Caucus have filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Tim Walz’s authority to unilaterally declare a peacetime emergency and issue executive orders.

The lawsuit charges that the governor bypassed the legislative process by declaring the peacetime emergency and in so doing gave himself the power to write laws for an indefinite period of time, without oversight, the legislators argue.

Attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson is representing the legislators in the lawsuit.

“The suspension of our constitutional rights destroyed our state,” stated Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, in a news release announcing the lawsuit. “The numbers show that Minnesota has higher rates of unemployment and deaths-per-million from COVID-19 than free states. Businesses should be allowed to operate as they see fit, individuals should be allowed to travel where they want, and government should not be penalizing people for trying to survive.”

“Constitutional rights are not conditional permissions handed down to the people by government officials. No individual, including Governor Walz, is allowed to suspend our God-given rights,” said State Rep. Cal Bahr, R-East Bethel, in the news release.


The lawmakers have started a Go-Fund-Me page to raise funds toward the estimated $20,000 cost of pursuing the litigation. Money not used for the lawsuit will be placed in a fund to help small businesses with their legal fees, they said.

The caucus is led by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, and includes Miller, Bahr, and Rep. Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal.

The Legislature has the authority to overturn a governor's order, but it requires a majority vote in both the House and Senate.

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