This morning, Governor Mark Dayton filed a brief in Ramsey County District Court supporting the Minnesota courts' position that they should be funded in the event of a government shutdown. On Friday, the Minnesota Judicial Branch petitioned the Ramsey County District Court for an order confirming that the courts have the inherent power under the Minnesota Constitution to remain operating in the new biennium.
Governor Dayton's brief states: "Fundamental to the rule of law is the existence and operation of the judicial department" established by the Minnesota Constitution. The brief notes that shutting down the courts for lack of an appropriation would threaten the lives and safety of the people of Minnesota.
In supporting the courts' petition, and by his focus on life and safety, Governor Dayton is taking the same constitutional approach he took last week in response to the Attorney General's petition regarding the executive branch.