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Reps. Emmer, Seifert and 30 GOP colleagues quick to defend Pawlenty’s unallotment stance

Is Rep. Tom Emmer hoping he’ll someday have the unallotment power Gov.

Is Rep. Tom Emmer hoping he’ll someday have the unallotment power Gov. Tim Pawlenty currently has?

The Delano legislator, one of the leading candidates for the Republican endorsement for governor, has led his party’s charge in support of the governor’s use of unallotment at the conclusion of last spring’s session.

Today, Emmer and 31 other Republican legislators filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the state’s Supreme Court that argues that Pawlenty’s use of the power was proper.

“It’s ironic that the district court cited the separation of powers in its order but failed to recognize their own egregious violation of this principle,” Emmer said in a statement explaining the action. “As members of the legislature, we find it necessary to remind the court that the legislative branch is responsible for setting Minnesota budget priorities, not the judiciary.”

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Rep. Marty Seifert, the leading candidate for Republican gubernatorial endorsement, also was among those signing the brief.

Officially, the House is on record supporting the plaintiffs and the decision of a Ramsey County district judge who ruled that Pawlenty went beyond his legal power in his use of unallotment. But, of course, the House is controlled by the DFL. Neither party in the state Senate has taken a position on the court case, which the court is to hear next month.

In their brief, the Republican House members —and Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo —said, “the district court’s ruling should be overturned as it unconstitutionally usurped the legislative authority to make and amend the laws by effectively amending the unallotment statute to include requirements not placed in it by the legislature.”