Press Release: Minnesota Small Business Owners Sue to Reopen

| Governor’s Categories to Shutter Businesses are Unconstitutional, Lawsuit says |

Minneapolis – A group of small businesses on Wednesday announced that they are suing the state of Minnesota, claiming Governor Walz’s categories of “Critical Sector” and “essential” “Non-Critical Exempt Businesses” are unconstitutional under the U.S Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

[ Read the petition, here ]

The petitioning businesses are represented by attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, p.a. Plaintiffs were identified and coordinated through the new Government Oppression Hotline. The businesses represented in the lawsuit include Trev’s Kitchen, Prestige Gymnastics, Title Boxing Clubs, Yoga by Blisstopia and others participating in the Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition. Additional interested business owners can still join the suit through the hotline.

“We can mitigate the risks of Covid-19 while still respecting the rights of our citizens and preserving our crucial small businesses,” said Dan McGrath, spokesman for the coalition.

The business owners say that they should be able to stay open just like the government and big businesses, because they are essential too.

They assert that the governor is outside his legitimate powers by picking winners and losers in the economic morass brought about in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic.  For the state to suspend some, but not all economic activity for an arbitrary and indefinite period of time is unprecedented, and according to the plaintiffs, unlawful.

The suit alleges that the governor’s executive orders affecting small businesses are not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state purpose.  The executive orders’ categories, “Critical Sector,” “essential” and “Non-Critical Exempt Businesses” are no more than arbitrary lists of business which get to remain open. Attorney Erick Kaardal says that there was no effort to base the categories on a defined public health or economic standard.

“The Governor lost his constitutional compass in sailing the State of Minnesota through the COVID pandemic.  The consequence of his unconstitutional categories is massive suffering for small businesses on an unprecedented scale. We’re hopeful that the appellate courts of Minnesota will agree that the Governor’s categories of ‘Critical Sector,’ ‘essential,’ and ‘Non-Critical Exempt Businesses’ are not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest,” said Kaardal.

Additional Coverage

Originally Published at Free Minnesota.

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