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Court: Votes for gay marriage not cause for recall

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature Updated: May 22, 2013 - 1:29 PM

The Minnesota Supreme Court says that lawmakers' votes to legalize same sex marriage do not provide cause for recall elections.

Crow Wing County Republican Doug Kern, of rural Brainerd, filed petitions to recall DFL Reps. Joe Radinovich and John Ward based on their support for legalization of same-sex marriage.

"Constituent disagreement with how their elected representative exercised discretion, through public statements made or votes taken, does not equate to malfeasance by the representative," the court said in an order dismissing the recall petition against Radinovich earlier this week. The court issued a similar order dismissing the petition against Ward.

State law sets the recall bar very high for public officials, only allowing recall elections to go forward based on "serious malfeasance or nonfeasance" in performance of public duties.

The dismissal of the recall effort does not end the possible consequences for lawmakers' votes on the marriage issue.

Both the Baxter area Ward represents and the Crosby area Radinovich represents favored the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage last year. If they run for re-election in 2014, voters may express their disappointment at the polls.



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