Three Republican legislators introduced articles of impeachment Monday against Democratic Gov. Tim Walz over his use of executive orders during the pandemic.

Their resolution claims Walz's actions during the COVID-19 emergency have gone beyond his constitutional authority and violated Minnesotans' rights.

A spokesman for the governor noted the Republican lawmakers have made the same arguments in court and judges have repeatedly rejected them. It's up to the courts, not legislators, to decide what is constitutional, Walz's spokesman noted.

The resolution was proposed by Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee, and two other members of the New House Republicans, a group that splintered off from the traditional GOP caucus a couple of years ago. No GOP leaders signed on to the measure.

Mortensen introduced five articles of impeachment. His resolution contends that in addition to failing to respect the separation of powers between the Legislature and the executive branch, Walz restricted freedom of religion, took private property and adversely affected Minnesotans during the pandemic.

The DFL-controlled House referred the measure to its rules committee Monday. There is no companion bill in the Senate.

Jessie Van Berkel