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Few, small developments in shutdown legal case

It’s early yet, and tomorrow is the big day when Ramsey District Court Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin holds the first actual hearing on the shutdown case, but as far I know, the developments since my last recap are just these:

Legislature hires former Chief Justice Eric Magnuson: As the Senate had done earlier, the House Rules Committee authorized the Legislature to directly join the legal fray and the Legislature (but for practical purposes, one should view it as the Repub majority in both houses jointly) have hired Eric Magnuson, former chief justice of the Supreme Court and an attorney with Republican background, appointed by Pawlenty) as their advocate.

So far, they claim, they only want to make sure the Legisalture itself will have the minimum funds necessary to “keep the doors open,” as House Majority Leader Matt Dean put it. but, depending on how things go, this also puts the Legislature in position to join the more general shutdown arguments.

Dayton urges Supremes to dismiss Kaardal petition: The Kaardal petition is the one that most thoroughly invokes the constitutional language about no-state-spending-without-appropriations. Four Repub state senators, represented by attorney Erick Kaardal of Mpls, have asked the Supreme Court to rule that none of the parties in the Gearin case (Gearin, Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter) have any constitutional authority to order that core functions or essential services be funded during a shutdown.

Swanson previously filed a counterargument with the court. Now Dayton (through special shutdown counsel David Lillehaug) does the same, noting that the same four senators who are telling the Supremes that the judicial branch has no constitutional role in the shutdown, are asking Gearin to order the governor to call a special session.

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