GOP senators asking court to prevent spending obligations during shutdownby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Four Republicans in the Minnesota Senate will ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to prevent a Ramsey County District Court judge from continuing many state spending obligations if state government shuts down on July 1.
Attorney Erick Kaardal represents state senators Warren Limmer, Sean Nienow, Scott Newman and Roger Chamberlain. Kaardal said the Minnesota Constitution should allow only spending that is open and standing, required by the Minnesota Constitution or required by the federal government.
"The proposed proceeding the Ramsey County District Court is lawless; the government officials involved in the process should know that and I believe we will prevail in the Minnesota Supreme Court," Kaardal said.
Kaardal said it's unconstitutional for a judge to allow any other spending and that it contradicts the law and actually requires the commissioner to commit a crime.
"So we would have the court ordering the commissioner to illegally disburse funds in violation of state statute which, is something we're not accustomed to in Minnesota," he said. "That is, the courts uphold the rule of law, they don't encourage the violation of the rule of law."
The lawsuit comes as Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson are asking a Ramsey County judge to continue spending in essential areas if state government shuts down.
Swanson has argued that the Minnesota Constitution also requires government to ensure the security, protection and benefit of the people, and she says her request meets that standard.