Courts to court: Keep us open

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and the Minnesota Judicial Branch are petitioning Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin to issue an order keeping Minnesota’s court system operating if state government shuts down.

The petition says the separation of powers doctrine requires the state of Minnesota to pay for court services. The petition asks the judge to require Minnesota Management and Budget to pay for such obligations if there’s a state government shut down on July 1.

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea released this statement on the petition.

“We take this action today because we believe it is in the best interests of the people we serve, the five million Minnesotans who are guaranteed access to justice that is delivered promptly and without delay,” Gildea said in a statement. “I want to emphasize that we are requesting court action only in the event our budget situation is not resolved by July 1 through an appropriation, which is our preferred resolution.”

This is the third petition submitted to Gearin. Swanson submitted a petition earlier this week to keep some executive branch services running if a shutdown occurred. Governor Dayton submitted his own petition earlier this week.

Gearin will hold a hearing next Thursday on the request.

State government will shut down if Dayton and GOP legislative leaders fail to reach a budget compromise by July 1.

Here’s the petition:

Judicial Petition

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