The Minnesota Supreme Court has sided with Governor Mark Dayton in a highly contentious court case involving the state legislature. The Court ruled that the governor’s use of the veto power to completely strike the legislative budget was constitutional. Their decision was handed down Friday afternoon, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune.
The Court’s ruling also ordered the governor and legislature to find a mediator for this dispute by Sept. 12.
Republican legislators in Minnesota had accused the Democratic governor of trying to eliminate a coequal branch of government by withholding its funding, arguing that preventing the legislature from paying its bills amounts to cutting it out of the government altogether.
Gov. Mark Dayton claimed that his veto authority is clearly stated in the state constitution and that his authority to strike funding for a branch of government is constitutional. After lawmakers passed a budget that contained tax cuts he didn’t agree with, Dayton used his line-item veto authority to strike the entire budget for the legislative branch, including salaries.
Dayton’s hope was that his veto would force lawmakers to return to the bargaining table. Instead, they sued.
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Aug. 28 heard oral arguments from lawyers representing the governor and the legislature.