ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — With just 2 weeks to go until the start of the new legislative session, a political showdown continues.
Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach is being sued in Ramsey County Court for trying to hold two prominent government seats at the same time.
This was all prompted by the resignation of Al Franken from the U.S. Senate earlier this year.
Fischbach automatically became our state’s lieutenant governor when Tina Smith was appointed to succeed Franken.
Before all of this, Fischbach was the president of the state Senate, and she has remained adamant that she wants to hold both seats.
In a small courtroom on the 14th floor of the Ramsey County Courthouse Tuesday morning, the two sides argued their case before a judge.
One of Fischbach’s constituents filed the lawsuit and argues holding those two offices is unconstitutional.
Fischbach’s legal team disputes that, saying the legal precedent is there.
The judge took the case under advisement and now the waiting game for his decision begins.
The plaintiff’s attorney worries about the implications if Fischbach were to hold both officers.
“There would be an asterisk on every vote,” attorney Charles Nauen said. “That could be chaotic. Obviously, it is a very close, neck and neck, Democrat and Republican senate.”
Fischbach says that male senators have served in both roles before.
“We are confident the precedent that we have, not only there, but in the Supreme Court case will be followed,” she said.
The new legislative session begins Feb. 20, meaning time is running out for a decision to be made.
Both sides expect the judge to issue a ruling on the matter quickly.