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Supreme Court hearing postponed indefinitely

Jake Grovum//July 22, 2011//

Supreme Court hearing postponed indefinitely

Jake Grovum//July 22, 2011//

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Lorie Skjerven Gildea

A Supreme Court hearing to tackle the lingering question of whether state spending can constitutionally continue during a government shutdown has been postponed indefinitely.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea issued an order Friday afternoon declaring that the scheduled July 27 hearing of the petition brought by a conservative attorney and six Republican legislators will not take place as previously scheduled. Gildea did, however, hint that arguments could be heard later, writing that “counsel will be notified at a later date regarding oral argument.”

Attorney Erick Kaardal brought the case, along with the six Republican co-sponsors, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Limmer. The petition argues that nearly all state spending is unconstitutional without proper approval of the Legislature.

The 2011 case echoes a similar claim brought by Kaardal and others in 2005 that was never fully settled since the budget impasse and shutdown then was resolved before the court was forced to rule.

In 2005, the Legislature retroactively approved the court-ordered spending, as did the 2011 Legislature in the budget bills it passed and Gov. Mark Dayton signed in ending the shutdown.

Kaardal said earlier in the week that he believed the petition would and should continue since the constitutional issues at the heart of the matter are still present. With Gildea’s order, however, it remains to be seen whether the constitutional issue at the heard of the past two budget impasses will be resolved.

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