For Immediate Release Sen. Fischbach Cannot Serve as Lieutenant Governor and Senate President Simultaneously

Common Cause Minnesota says the Constitution is clear and calls for the end of partisan political games

Posted on December 14, 2017


In response to the ongoing constitutional questions and legal arguments regarding the vacancy in the office of the Lieutenant Governor, Common Cause Minnesota Executive Director Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera issued the following statement:

“The Minnesota Constitution is clear: No person can serve as Lieutenant Governor and Senate President at the same time. Minnesota voters deserve a fair and transparent process in filling vacancies. Instead of playing partisan games to benefit one party or the other, Governor Dayton, Senator Fischbach, and the Senate leadership should work together to quickly fill these vacancies and get back to governing.”

 

LEGAL ANALYSIS:

Two statutes in Minnesota’s state constitution provide clear guidance on this matter:

Article IV, section 5 of the Minnesota Constitution states, “No senator or representative shall hold any other office under the authority of the United States or the state of Minnesota, except that of postmaster or of notary public. If elected or appointed to another office, a legislator may resign from the legislature by tendering his resignation to the governor.”

Article V, section 5 of the Minnesota Constitution states, “The last elected presiding officer of the senate shall become lieutenant governor in case a vacancy occurs in that office.”

Office: Common Cause Minnesota

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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