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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Former Minnesota Republican Congressman and radio show host Jason Lewis is suing Democratic Gov. Tim Walz.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Lewis claims the stay-at-home order was unconstitutional, and is getting in the way of his new campaign.

Lewis says the governor’s restrictions go against the U.S. Constitution, and have prevented him from holding campaign events like rallies and dinners.

“…the overreach from these unprecedented lockdowns has moved beyond economic hardship and favoritism into the realm of threatening our most basic liberties, including the fundamental right to travel and meet with friends and neighbors,” Lewis said. “Our action serves notice on the state that it too has limits, especially when its arbitrary actions encroach on the freedoms of Minnesotans.

READ MORE: Jason Lewis Discusses Senate Run Against Tina Smith

Gov. Tim Walz’s spokesman Teddy Tschann gave WCCO this statement early Tuesday evening:

The virus has forced the state to take drastic action to keep Minnesotans safe, but it’s action that is within the Governor’s authority. It is also in line with federal guidance and similar to what many other states are doing. All of the Governor’s actions have been grounded in the need to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans, and he will continue to work to find ways to get Minnesotans back to work and to a place where they can safely gather in large groups.

Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office also released this statement early Tuesday evening:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the executive orders that Governor Walz has issued in the fight against COVID-19 are fully within his legal and constitutional authority, and my office will fully defend them in court. Courts around the country have been upholding governors’ orders to protect people from COVID-19. I have no reason to think courts in Minnesota will rule differently.

More than 17,000 Minnesotans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and nearly 750 have died from it. That means 750 families are planning funerals. Minnesotans don’t need frivolous lawsuits while a deadly-serious pandemic is claiming their loved ones’ lives. Real leaders step up to fight it rather than pulling political stunts.

Lewis was a member of Congress from 2016 to 2018, and is now running to replace Sen. Tina Smith.

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