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Could the end of Gov. Walz executive power be near?

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The future of Gov. Tim Walz's Peacetime Emergency Order is now in the hands of a judge.

A judge at the Ramsey County Courthouse heard arguments Thursday morning in a lawsuit against the order.

Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition brought the lawsuit with the support of 13 legislators.

Plaintiff Attorney Erick Kaardal explained his position that all of Walz's emergency orders are unconstitutional.

"When the Minnesota legislature enacted the Peacetime Emergency power statute, it never laid out the way that civil liberties would be restricted," Kardaal said. "We all have had our civil liberties restricted by the governor without the state legislature providing that guidance."

Kaardal said Walz shouldn't have that power.

"So here Governor Walz has exercised legislative power without any oversight, no checks, no balances, and so it's not American. It's not Minnesotan. And so that has to be stopped," Kaardal said.

Zen Fusion owner Tiffany Houser is a member of the Free Minnesota Coalition.

"I just think that people should have their own rights and choose when and where they want to go out in public and if they want to wear a mask," said Houser. "I just think it's unfair how businesses are treated differently, on who's deemed essential and who's not; And how it's all working and hurting small business incredibly."

Houser continued, "I'm just hoping this coalition and this lawsuit gives people some of their freedoms back."

Kaardal is confident the judge will side with them.

"I think we are going to win," he said. "We're not against the governor having the powers to cope with the pandemic. But it has to be done in a careful way because we are dealing with people's civil liberties, their right to movement, their right to have businesses. And when things are done in the wrong way, you're unnecessary hurting people."

Kaardal expects the judge to make the decision within the next few weeks. If the judge approves this lawsuit the governor would lose his some of his ability to make executive orders. But, that might not be end of it.

"I would guess that the governor would then seek an emergency stay on the writ and seek Minnesota Supreme Court review," Kaardal said.

He said people should not be concerned if Walz loses the suit.

"We don't want people to be frightened," Kaardal said. "From our point of view, it's less frightening to have the governor have that kind of oversight on those restrictions to liberties, than just having him do it on his own. We want more people involved. We want notice, the public, administrative law judges involved, judicial review; we want it all because it's that important."

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KaMaria Braye

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