Republican legislative leaders said Friday they they will try to derail a lawsuit seeking to block a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo ID.

“It is my very strong feeling that the integrity of the election process will be enhanced with photo ID,” said Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester. “We intend to protect the right of citizens to vote on this important issue of election integrity.”

Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers said they must defend Legislature’s ability to place constitutional amendments on the ballot.

“It is unfortunate special interest groups who are opposed to photo ID are using any means necessary to prevent citizens from voting on this important election integrity measure,” said Zellers, R-Maple Grove.

The Legislative Coordinating Commission will meet next week to consider a resolution to formally get involved. Minnesota taxpayers would pick up the Legislature’s legal fees.

Republicans who control the Legislature led the effort to put the amendment on the ballot. Many Democratic groups oppose the measure, saying it is designed to discourage traditionally Democratic-leaning voters.

Groups opposed to the amendment filed a lawsuit last week arguing the ballot language is misleading and would weaken voting rights.

The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to hear the case July 17.

The amendment is slated to be on the November ballot.