Minnesota Supreme Court to hear marriage, photo ID title fights on same day

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  • July 20, 2012 - 4:33 PM

The Minnesota constitutional title bout will be on July 31.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday scheduled oral arguments for a case seeks to undo Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's chosen title for the photo ID constitutional amendment the Legislature put on the ballot for that date. The Court had already scheduled arguments over a nearly identical protest over Ritchie's title for the amendment to ban same sex marriage.

The scheduling order the court published Friday does not say how it will handle both issues at the same time. The marriage amendment title fight is to start at 9 a.m. and the photo ID fight will start at 9 a.m. "or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard."

Atypically, in the photo ID fight the court did not let the attorneys know exactly how much time they will have to argue. Rather it said, "the parties will be notified by separate order the format for the hearing."

The cases have many similarities. In both, individual Republican lawmakers joined with the primary organizations backing the amendments in suing Ritchie, a Democrat, for changing the title of the amendments lawmakers approved.

Their argument essentially says that the constitution gives the Legislature exclusive power over constitutional questions.

But Ritchie argues that state law says that the Secretary of State "shall" title amendments.

The Supreme Court is already considering a separate lawsuit over the photo ID amendment. That suit says the constitutional question lawmakers wrote is misleading.


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