Courts To Continue Operating Even If There Is No MN Budget Agreement

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Judge Bruce Christopherson hears MN court shutdown case

Judge Bruce Christopherson

Judge Bruce Christopherson

Minnesota’s courts will continue to function even if Governor Mark Dayton and Republican leaders cannot reach agreement on a budget by July 1st.

Retired Judge Bruce Christopherson ordered the continued funding of the courts, saying constitutional rights of citizens that would be violated if the courts were not running. In the ruling he wrote:
“What are some examples of the expected effects of closure of the judicial function? They would include elimination of legal right enforcement to hold in custody persons accused of violent crimes, to require psychopathic sexual offenders to continue in secure treatment facilities to grant and enforce the thousands of Orders for Protection issued annually to protect physically abused family members, and to grant emergency orders removing minor children from unsafe and threatening environments.

“Such failures would constitute and abandonment of the constitutional rights of Minnesota citizens, and requires the Court to act to protect the public to fulfill its charge under the Federal and State constitutions.”

The judge rejected Republican arguments that article 11 of the state constitution would be violated if funding of the courts were to continue. That section says “Money paid from the state treasury . No money will be paid out of the treasury of this state except in pursuance of an appropriation by law.”

The judge’s order and finding of facts is here:Judge Christopherson’s Order For MN Court Funding

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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