Governor Dayton Announces former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, as his Special Counsel after Republican Legislative Leaders filed a lawsuit challenging him

Governor’s decision comes after Republican Legislative Leaders filed a lawsuit challenging the Governor’s constitutional line-item veto authority

ST.PAUL, MN – The Office of the Governor has retained Mr. Sam Hanson, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, and Briggs and Morgan to represent the Governor and Minnesota Management and Budget in the lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Legislature. The lawsuit challenges the Governor’s authority, as provided in the Minnesota Constitution, to line-item veto appropriations for the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate. (Note that the Governor did not veto the appropriation for the Legislative Coordinating Commission, which employs nearly 100 of the Legislature’s staff.)

The Governor line-item vetoed the funding for the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate to bring Republican Leaders back to the negotiating table and correct their tax giveaways to big tobacco, the estates of multimillionaires, and big businesses.

“It’s regrettable that Republican Legislative Leaders have chosen a legal battle to protect their excessive tax giveaways, which will cost the State of Minnesota over $5 Billion during the next decade,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I will continue to urge the Republican Legislative Majorities to agree to remove these fiscally irresponsible tax cuts, and to repeal their un-Minnesotan attacks on our state’s immigrant communities and our teachers. After reviewing the lawsuit and in consultation with the Attorney General, I have chosen to hire outside counsel to represent us.”

Mr. Hanson practiced with Briggs and Morgan for 34 years, serving a term as its President, until 2000. In 2000 he was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and in 2002 he was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. In 2008 he returned to private practice at Briggs and Morgan, where he served another term as its President. Mr. Hanson has also been inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.



Office of the Governor & Lt. Governor, Communications Department

130 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155

T: 651-201-3400 | E: Dayton.Media@state.mn.us

Photo credit: Briggs and Morgan 

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