The Minnesota Supreme Court is hiking registration fees for lawyers to raise more money for public defenders and legal aid for the poor.
The $100 increase is meant to expire after two years, and raises the annual registration fee for most lawyers to $317. Three-fourths of the increase goes to the Board of Public Defense while $25 is for civil legal services programs.
In Thursday's order, Chief Justice Eric Magnuson writes that the Supreme Court is raising the fees reluctantly. He says civil legal services and the public defender system are "dramatically underfunded," and the court system is suffering as a result.
Alan Page and two other justices dissented. Page writes that fee increase is tax, and the Supreme Court has no authority to levy taxes.