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Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Gov. Walz's COVID-19 executive orders

The lawsuit claimed Walz abused his powers and damaged businesses.
Governor Tim Walz

A lawsuit claiming Gov. Tim Walz abused his power when he issued some of his executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic has been dismissed. 

Ramsey County District Court Judge Thomas Gilligan granted Walz's motion to dismiss the case, stating the "governor has acted pursuant to the authority delegated to him by the legislature," a court order issued Tuesday says. 

The Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition, which includes 13 Republican legislators and several business owners, filed the lawsuit, claiming the governor abused his power when he closed schools, issued a mask mandate and limited business operations amid the pandemic. 

Businesses in the group say they've been damaged by being shut down by Walz's executive orders, while the legislators claim their power has been usurped by the governor. The group also said Minnesotan's civil liberties were restricted by the orders.

This lawsuit is one of several that has been filed against Walz since he started using his emergency powers as governor back in March, when the first coronavirus cases were reported in the state. 

The governor and DFL lawmakers maintain his emergency powers are necessary to fight the pandemic, which has killed more than 1,800 people in Minnesota.

Gov. Walz's peacetime state of emergency is currently extended through Sept. 11. 

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