Sen. Thompson Comments on Court Decision on Amendments Going to Ballot

Thompson said yesterday's Supreme Court decision was a victory for all Minnesotans.

Editor's note: The following is a press release from State Sen. Dave Thompson (R-District 36) of Lakeville.

State Sen. Dave Thompson (R-District 36) of Lakeville, reacted to yesterday's decision by the Minnesota State Supreme Court that upheld the Legislature's actions on two proposed constitutional amendments.

The Court ruled as follows: The photo ID question passed by the Legislature is constitutional and should appear on the November ballot; and, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie cannot ignore the Constitution and substitute his own Amendment titles for those provided by the Legislature.

Thompson said: "The Supreme Court decision was a victory for all Minnesotans. Opponents of the Marriage Amendment and Photo ID Amendment do not want to face the judgment of the voters. Therefore, they attempted to use the legal system and the Secretary of State to thwart the will of the people. Fortunately their efforts were unsuccessful. Minnesota voters will get their say."

In a very clear ruling the Court said, 'We conclude that when the Legislature has included a title for a ballot question in the bill proposing a constitutional amendment, the appropriate title the Secretary of State must provide for that ballot question is the title designated by the Legislature. As a result, the Secretary of State exceeded his authority under Minn. Stat. § 204D.15, subd. 1, when he provided titles for the ballot questions different from those passed by the Legislature.

The issue arose when Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, an outspoken critic of both constitutional amendments on the ballot this year, announced that he was unilaterally going to change both titles of the questions from what the Minnesota Legislature had originally designated. 

Thompson said: "I think the Secretary of State exhibited a blatant overreach of power by encroaching on the Constitutional authority of the Minnesota Legislature and Im glad the Supreme Court did not allow his actions to stand."

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