Minnesota chief justice tosses Walz recall effort

Gov. Tim Walz announces new COVID-19 guidelines.
Gov. Tim Walz announces new guidelines for restaurants, bars, salons and barbershops during the coronavirus pandemic on May 20, 2020. A group of voters wanted Walz to face a recall election over his coronavirus restrictions. The chief justice of Minnesota’s Supreme Court said a high threshold wasn’t met.
Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune via AP file

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a recall petition against Gov. Tim Walz.

Chief Justice Lorie Gildea wrote in an 11-page order that the state’s recall threshold for elective officials is necessarily high, and the bid to remove the DFL governor didn’t meet it.

A group of voters argued that Walz committed malfeasance with his executive orders around the coronavirus pandemic, including his stay-at-home directive that came with a potential fine for violators.

Gildea said she wouldn’t pass judgment on whether Walz exceeded his authority.

She wrote that “to determine whether sufficient grounds and facts have been alleged, I do not need to decide whether Gov. Walz had the authority to issue the stay-at-home order or the other emergency executive orders at issue.”

Gildea said the law doesn’t require her to render a verdict on whether Walz exceeded his authority. But even if proven, she wrote that the allegations in the petition “do not
constitute malfeasance.”

She declined to appoint a special judge to oversee the case as she dismissed it in its entirety.

No Minnesota governor has faced a successful recall.

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