Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach reasserted her stance Tuesday that she can simultaneously serve as lieutenant governor and hold her state Senate seat.
A resident of Fischbach’s Minnesota Senate district has sued her, claiming she cannot hold both positions. Destiny Dusosky, of Sauk Rapids, sought a temporary injunction in mid-January to block Fischbach from continuing to represent Senate District 13 and to stop her from voting on matters in the Senate.
Fischbach, R-Paynesville, filed a memo Tuesday opposing the motion for an injunction and citing historical precedent supporting her claim that she can serve in both roles at once.
As Senate president, Fischbach automatically ascended to the position of Gov. Mark Dayton’s lieutenant governor after Dayton appointed former Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to serve in the U.S. Senate. Smith filled Al Franken’s post after he resigned following accusations of sexual harassment from numerous women.
Seven of the nine previous senators who became lieutenant governor continued to hold both jobs, according to the memo from Fischbach’s attorney, Kevin Magnuson.
Furthermore, the memo states that it is not up to the court to determine if she can continue holding both positions.
Only the Senate may determine whether she can remain a senator and only the voters of her district can recall her from office, Magnuson argues.
“The court should exercise judicial restraint and allow these remedies to play out,” his memo says.
Dusosky, who has been DFL chairwoman of Fischbach’s St. Cloud-area Senate district, wanted to clarify whether Fischbach’s votes as a senator would be legal before the start of the legislative session Feb. 20, her attorney, Charlie Nauen, has said.
A motion hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Tuesday.