Gov. Tim Walz has overstepped his authority in using emergency powers to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, a lawyer argued before a Ramsey County judge Thursday, while a lawyer for the governor countered that the idea the coronavirus emergency is over defies common sense.
A dozen Republican state lawmakers and a group called the Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition filed a lawsuit claiming that Walz, a Democrat, abused his powers by issuing numerous executive orders under the peacetime emergency he declared to address COVID-19.
The lawsuit argues that Walz overstepped his bounds and interfered with the legislative process.
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“What the governor’s executive orders have done is take ordinary actions of human beings and make them a crime,” Kaardal said.
Solicitor General Liz Kramer, representing the governor, asked the judge to dismiss the case. Kramer said the lawsuit seeks to prevent future executive orders and void the 79 orders already issued which would leave the governor powerless if there is a second wave of the virus.
“This flies in the face of common sense,” Kramer said.
Kramer also noted that the state executive council and Legislature already have roles in determining whether an emergency continues.
Judge Thomas Gilligan took the case under advisement and said he would have a decision soon.