Archive for the ‘Separation of Powers’ Category

Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman are playing purely partisan games in an attempt to pressure Republicans. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has said that “his caucus will block passage of a public infrastructure borrowing package until the peacetime state of emergency Gov. Tim Walz has used to enact the stay-at-home order and other coronavirus response measures comes to an end.”

Predictably, Speaker Hortman responded, saying “it is ‘disappointing to see the minority leader threaten to block much-needed investments in local jobs and projects in our communities.'” Ms. Hortman, there’s a simple solution to this impasse. It’s found by letting the people have a say in matters. Leader Daudt laid it out pretty simply:

The Legislature is in session. We believe we should be working with the governor on the response to COVID-19 and keeping Minnesota safe.

I’ll put it in simpler terms. Minnesota isn’t a monarchy. Tim Walz isn’t an emperor. He was elected to be Minnesota’s governor, not Minnesota’s king. It’s time he dropped the monarch act and provided servant leadership.

Speaker Hortman apparently favors monarchies:

Governor Walz and his Administration have served the people of Minnesota well during this crisis, and his thoughtfulness is why Minnesotans overwhelmingly approve of his actions. Ending the peacetime emergency declaration before the emergency has passed would be reckless.

Actually, letting Gov. Walz do whatever he wants is reckless. Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Right now, Gov. Walz is acting like he’s got total authority to do whatever he wants. If Hortman wants to campaign that Gov. Walz has the authority to make unilateral decisions and that he’s made nothing but good decisions, I can’t wait to see her surrender her Speaker’s gavel this November.

Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman, if you want to run as an autocrat and the chief supporter of an out-of-control autocrat, don’t expect a gentle reception outside downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul this November. People with common sense don’t like authoritarianism. This about it this way. Gov. Walz has decided to ‘let’ more businesses open. Gov. Walz has ‘let’ people start fishing again. Gov. Walz has ‘let’ golf courses open after being pushed by protesters into that decision.

If this is right, the law needs changing:

The state of emergency, currently to end May 13, does not require legislative sign off, though lawmakers can vote to end it. House Republicans have made several unsuccessful attempts to pass legislation rescinding the order. The governor can extend the measure every 30 days with approval from an executive council of statewide elected officials, though he must call back the Legislature if he acts again after it has adjourned. Daudt said he would rather see the Legislature remain in session without a state of emergency past May to approve any virus response measures.

The legislative branch, not the executive branch, is where political disputes should be settled. Further, giving the governor the authority to extend his autocratic decisions theoretically gives him the ability to extend it indefinitely if there’s a divided legislature. Giving a governor the ability to make decisions without consulting the legislature is a recipe for disaster. Nobody should ever have that type of authority. The people must have a say in the matter.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s Democrat governor, now has to deal with a lawsuit brought by Republican lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos filed the lawsuit in Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court. If the court sides with the Republican leadership, which seems likely, it will be a stinging political defeat for Gov. Evers.

The GOP leaders are seeking to take away Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm’s ability to make unilateral decisions during public health emergencies and instead require her to gain their approval before taking action. They say the Evers administration’s actions are outside the bounds of the law. “Purporting to act under color of State law, an unelected, unconfirmed cabinet secretary has laid claim to a suite of czar-like powers, unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration, over the people of Wisconsin,” the complaint reads.

First, let’s see what the evidence is before making judgment. That being said, if the Republicans’ description is right, then Gov. Evers and Secretary Palm would likely be heading for a defeat.

All state constitutions must meet the US Constitution’s provisions on separation of powers and checks and balances. It isn’t likely that the Democrats’ Great Lakes governors’ shelter-in-place orders would meet constitutional muster. With a single person making the decisions, it’s impossible to legitimately say that there’s a check on that person’s balance.

These Democrats (Walz, Whitmer and Evers) have overstepped their authorities. It’s just a matter of time before someone questions Gov. Walz’s authority. If nothing else, some GOP House member should challenge Walz’s authority. It isn’t a matter of whether the judge likes or doesn’t like Gov. Walz’s intentions. The only thing that matters is whether Gov. Walz has the authority to strip Minnesotans’ constitutional rights from them.

The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” One way that the people petition the government is through our representatives. Taking away their policy-making authority for an extended period of time strips the people of that essential right.

These protests and lawsuits aren’t going away until these governors stop acting like autocrats. Whitmer, Walz and Evers think they’re above the will of the people because they want to do good as defined by them. The Constitution limits what governments can do, not what people can do.

DFL Gov. Tim Walz has acted like he’s an autocrat that isn’t accountable to the people. Steve Drazkowski wants Gov. Walz to experience a little accountability. The DFL leadership is fighting to protect Gov. Walz because, well, Gov. Walz is a Democrat. Therefore, he must be protected at all costs. (At this point, the lion’s share of the Twin Cities media is obligated to either nod in agreement or genuflect and kiss Gov. Walz’s ring.)

Rep. Drazkowski isn’t nodding in agreement, genuflecting or kissing Gov. Walz’s ring. In fact, he’s attempting to restore constitutional sanity to the DFL majority in the Minnesota House. Obviously, Draz (that’s his nickname) has his hands full. Getting the DFL to listen to the Constitution is virtually impossible. Just ask Tucker Carlson about that:

Rep. Drazkowski is a warrior for the Constitution. He’s also a warrior of the principle of checks and balances. Here’s how he fought the fight for the people’s voice to be heard:

These orders do not make sense. People are allowed to go to a union meeting, but not a church service. They can get an abortion but not a kidney transplant. They can buy booze and medicinal marijuana, but they can’t camp in a state forest. If we don’t terminate the governor’s emergency powers, we will be ceding the authority of the Legislature, and the voice of the people, to one person. It is the Legislature’s role, as the voice of the people, to set state policy, not one chief executive.

Gov. Walz’s decisions have already devastated Minnesota’s economy. Thanks for acting unilaterally, Gov. Walz. Thanks for killing livelihoods and life dreams. I’m sure Minnesotans are satisfied.

If you look at our neighboring states, you will find that the states that have not instituted stay at home orders against their people have a death rate per million people due to COVID-19 equal to or lower than Minnesota’s. North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, states very much like ours that directly border Minnesota. They have decided to protect their people and their economy. We can do the same.

If you listen to Gov. Walz’s briefings, you won’t hear him talk often about the economy. Jan Malcolm, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, is present at all of the briefings. I don’t see the commissioner of DEED there often, though. That indicates Gov. Walz’s priorities.

There’s supposed to be a balancing act between public health and economic vitality. Gov. Walz has unilaterally, but with the DFL’s steadfast assistance, focused just on Minnesota’s health.

Based on this article, I’m betting that this coalition will fail:

Similar to the groups of governors on the East and West Coasts, the seven states (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky) will be looking at four main factors: sustained control of new infections and hospitalization, an enhanced ability to test and trace, a sufficient health care capacity to handle any surges, and best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

If these governors haven’t noticed, these are already part of President Trump’s blueprint of guidelines. They’re starting from a position of extreme caution. With the exception of Indiana and Ohio, these states are governed by pointy-headed liberals. Whitmer, Walz, Evers and Beshear aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. Pritzker isn’t a heavyweight, either.