Minnesota Legislator Introduces Law to Imprison Governor Over Unilateral COVID State-of-Emergency Orders
A Minnesota legislator has introduced a law that would prevent the state’s governor from unilaterally declaring a state of emergency. The law, introduced by, Erik Mortensen of Shakopee, would even sentence the governor to jail time for declaring a state of emergency without authorization from Minnesota’s state legislature.
Mortensen is citing the endless state of emergency enacted for the coronavirus pandemic as justification for HF 2204, or the Unilateral Emergency Powers Repeal Act. The legislation would require support from two-thirds of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate for declaring a peacetime state of emergency. An exception is made for times of war.
A governor who declares a state of emergency without legislative approval would be subject to spending 90 days in county jail and liable for a fine of $1,000. The law doesn’t target Minnesota Democrat Governor Tim Walz specifically, holding any governor who abuses power accountable. Walz has kept Minnesota’s state of emergency in place since March of 2020, using his powers in a far more aggressive fashion than other state governors.
The punishment for governors set forth by the law is the same that existing Minnesota law punishes citizens with for violating state-of-emergency orders enacted by a governor.
The Unilateral Emergency Powers Repeal Act would also enshrine American constitutional rights in Minnesota laws as what the bill identifies as a citizens’ bill of rights. The law would recognize rights to free assembly, bearing arms, religious beliefs, travel, and free speech.
State coronavirus restrictions are slowly lumbering towards the exit door of American society, with President Trump removed from the picture as an all-encompassing “emergency” in the eyes of liberals. The Minnesota law could serve as a basis for legislation in other states that seek to avoid a repeat of the arbitrary, ad nauseam, and confused coronavirus restriction experience.