Minnesota Supreme Court declares COVID-19 emergency declaration was lawful

by | May 13, 2024

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that the COVID-19 emergency declaration issued by Governor Tim Walz was constitutional.

Although the governor's emergency declaration was revoked years ago, legal challenges have arisen regarding its lawfulness. On May 10, the court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Minnesota residents and business owners who argued that the order was unconstitutional.

“The breadth of authority granted to the Governor under the Act is great, but so is the need of the executive branch to respond quickly in times of crisis,” wrote Justice Moore. “A delicate balance must be struck to ensure that Minnesotans are protected from both government overreach and emergent threats to their health.”

In his concurrence, Justice Anderson affirmed the constitutionality of the underlying state law permitting the declaration of emergencies. However, he suggested that the state Legislature should amend the act, highlighting that the Senate and House have the authority to terminate the governor's emergency powers if they reach a mutual agreement.

Following the state Supreme Court's ruling, the Upper Midwest Law Center expressed disappointment with the decision. They had challenged both the governor's emergency mandate and the state law enabling Governor Walz to issue such declarations. The law center cautioned that a future governor could potentially undertake actions that are unconstitutional.

Their lawsuit contended that only the state House and Senate possess the authority to enact laws, suggesting that Governor Walz overstepped his jurisdiction by declaring a statewide COVID-19 emergency. The legal group highlighted that the state Supreme Court's ruling on May 10 did not address the potential violation of other constitutional guarantees by future emergency orders.

Previously, two lower courts, including the Minnesota Court of Appeals, ruled that the state's emergency management act permits the governor to declare an emergency during peacetime in the event of a public health crisis. The Upper Midwest Law Center appealed this decision to the state's Supreme Court.

It remains unclear whether the group, which initiated the lawsuit in 2020, intends to appeal the state Supreme Court's decision.

 

Source: The Epoch Times

 

 

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