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Governor Response to AG Petition 6-15-11

Governor Response to AG Petition 6-15-11

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Published by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger on Jun 15, 2011
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06/15/2011

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STATEOFMINNESOTADISTRICTCOURTCOUNTYOFRAMSEYSECONDJUDICIALDISTRICTInreTemporaryFundingofCore)FunctionsoftheExecutiveBranch)OftheStateofMinnesota)CaseType:CivilCourtFileNo.62-cv-II-5203
RESPONSEOFTHEGOVERNORTOTHEPETITIONOFTHEATTORNEYGENERALINTRODUCTION
GovernorMarkDayton("theGovernor")submitsthisResponsetothePetitionoftheAttorneyGeneralfiledonJune13,2011.Withonlyminorexceptions,thelegislaturehasfailedtopassappropriationsbillsthatwillbesignedorthathavethesupportoftwo-thirdsofeachhouse.ThebienniumendsonJune30,2011.Ifnocompromiseisreachedbythen,thelegislature'sfailuretoappropriatewillcauseanunprecedentedemergency.TheGovernorbelieves,astheMinnesotaConstitutiondeclares,thatMinnesota'sgovernmentwas"institutedforthesecurity,benefitandprotectionofthepeople,"ArticleI,
§
1.AgovernmentshutdownwouldthreatenthelivesandsafetyofthepeopleofMinnesota.TheGovernordoesnotwantagovernmentshutdown.TheGovernorwantsabalancedcompromise.Hestillhopesthatthelegislativemajoritywillvoluntarilyfulfillitsconstitutionaldutytopassappropriationsbillsthatwillbesignedorthathavethesupportoftwo-thirdsofeachhouse.
 
I.THECOURTSHOULDAPPOINTAMEDIATOR.
Asdiscussedbelow,thePetitionraisesseriousconstitutionalandstatutoryissuesregardingtheinherentpowersofeachofthethreedepartmentsofstategovernment.Allthreedepartmentshavestrongreasontohavethedisagreementregardingappropriationsresolvedbycompromise,therebyavoidingbothconstitutionalissuesandagovernmentshutdown.Accordingly,theGovernorrequeststhattheCourtimmediatelyappointamediatortooverseeandfacilitatenegotiationsbetweenthelegislativemajority,ontheonehand,andthelegislativeminorityandtheGovernor,ontheother.Amediatorofgreatstatureandunquestionedintegrityisrequired.TheGovernorrespectfullysuggeststhattheCourtconsiderappointingeitheroftwoformermembersoftheMinnesotaSupremeCourt,neitherappointedbyamemberoftheGovernor'spoliticalparty:formerChiefJusticeKathleenBlatzorformerJusticeJamesGilbert.JusticeGilberthasalreadybeenproposedbytheAttorneyGeneralasaSpecialMaster,andiswillingtoserve.SoisChiefJusticeBlatz.ThedutiesofaSpecialMastershouldincludemediation.Indeed,in2005,ChiefJudgeGreggJohnsonappointedformerJusticeEdwardStringer"asSpecialMasterto
mediate
and,ifnecessary,hearandmakerecommendationstotheCourt...."
SeeInReTemporaryFundingofCoreFunctionsoftheExecutiveBranchoftheStateofMinnesota,
FindingsofFact,ConclusionsofLaw,andOrderGrantingMotionforTemporaryFunding,Order~5(RamseyCty.Dist.Ct.,June23,2005)(emphasisadded).2
 
TheGovernorcommitstobepresentatthemediationandtodevotehisfulltimeandattentiontoreachinganagreement.TheGovernorwantsabalancedcompromise,notagovernmentshutdown.
II.THEGOVERNOR'SANDTHECOURT'SPOWERTOSPENDMONEYNOTAPPROPRIATEDISLIMITEDBYTHEMINNESOTACONSTITUTIONANDBYSTATUTES.
In
theeventthatmediationisnotsuccessful,theCourtshouldproceedcautiously,toavoidinfringingontheinherentpowersofthelegislatureandthegovernor.TheCourtmusthonortheconstitutionalprincipleofseparationofpowers.PursuanttotheMinnesotaConstitution,ArticleIII,
§
1,theexecutivedepartmentmaynotexerciseanyofthepowersproperlybelongingtoeitherthelegislativeorthejudicialdepartments,exceptasexpresslyprovidedintheConstitution.
SeeBloom
v.
Am.ExpressCo.,
23N.W.2d570,575(Minn.1946)("Aconstitutionalgrantofpowertooneofthethreedepartmentsofgovernment...isadenialtotheothers.")While"[it]isemphaticallytheprovinceanddutyofthejudicialdepartmenttosaywhatthelawis,"
Marbury
v.
Madison,
5U.S.(1Cranch)137,177(1803),neithermaythejudicialdepartmentexerciseanyofthepowersproperlybelongingtoeitherthelegislativeortheexecutivedepartments.
SeeStateexreI.Sviggum
v.
Hanson,
732N.W.2d312,322(Minn.Ct.App.2007)("Westartfromthefundamentalprinciplethatwecannotexercisepowersthatbelongtothelegislativebranch.")Separationofpowersispremisedonthebeliefthatexcessivepowervestedinonebranchpromotes"corruptionandtyranny."
State
v.
Baxter,
686N.W.2d846,851(Minn.Ct.App.2004);
seealso
TheFederalistNos.47,48,and51(TerenceBalled.,2003).3

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