This afternoon, the Minnesota Supreme Court punted rather than make a constitution-based decision in the lawsuit filed by the legislature against Gov. Dayton. According to the article, “The Minnesota Supreme Court said Friday that Gov. Mark Dayton was within his authority to line-item veto funding for the House and Senate. But justices ordered the parties engage in mediated negotiations to come up with a workable solution.”
First, the injustice done with this ruling is stunning. Rather than rule that there are sensible limits on the executive branch, the Supreme Court essentially ruled that there aren’t limits on the use of the line-item veto. They’ve essentially given the governor unlimited power!
According to the article, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea wrote for the court, saying “The other branches should resolve these doubts through the political process. Thus far, they have not done so. As a result, Minnesotans may soon be deprived of their constitutional right to three independent branches of government.”
That’s stunning. Chief Justice Gildea admitted that the Supreme Court had the opportunity to guarantee that people would have the right of 3 functioning branches of government but that the Supreme Court declined to protect the people’s rights.
Further, the Supreme Court ordered the other co-equal branches into mediation rather than fulfilling their responsibility of applying the Constitution. Where in the Constitution does it give the Supreme Court the authority to tell the other branches what to do? A: It isn’t in there.
If I were advising Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, I’d advise them to refuse to participate in mediation. I’d issue a statement saying that they won’t participate in extra-constitutional activities that the Court doesn’t have the authority to require or enforce.
If Mssrs. Daudt and Gazelka decide to participate in mediation, then I’d advise them to tell Gov. Dayton that he’ll have to give up some things in the budget that Republicans agreed to that they didn’t want. Further, I’d issue a statement saying that Gov. Dayton will have to renegotiate things that the GOP agreed to. Here’s how I’d word that statement:
We have agreed to mediation because Minnesotans need 3 functioning branches of government. Because Gov. Dayton wants to renegotiate parts of the GOP Tax Relief Bill that he agreed to, it’s only fair that he prepare to renegotiate parts of the budget that we didn’t like. If Gov. Dayton isn’t willing to give up things that he wanted, then it’s obvious that he won’t negotiate in good faith. We won’t negotiate where we do all the giving and Gov. Dayton does all of the taking.
This shows why judges should be elected, not appointed. This ruling shouldn’t have happened. This court made up new rules rather than apply the Constitution.
This ruling happened because DFL jurists sided with Gov. Dayton because of their political beliefs rather than based on longstanding constitutional principles. As such, they should be seen as constitutional freeloaders.