Snell v. WalzAnnotate this Case
In this dispute over Governor Walz's declaration of a peacetime emergency under the Emergency Management Act, Minn. Stat. 12.01-.61, and the executive order the Governor issued requiring that Minnesotans wear face coverings, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the appeal as moot, holding that one issue on appeal met a mootness exception.
Plaintiffs brought the underlying petition for a writ of quo warranto challenging the face-covering mandate, arguing that the Governor overstepped his powers under the Emergency Management Act and that the mask mandate violated several of their constitutional rights. The district court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss. While Plaintiffs' appeal was pending, the peacetime emergency and mask mandate ended. Consequently, the court of appeals dismissed the appeal as moot. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the legal question of whether the Act authorizes a peacetime emergency for a public health emergency is functionally justiciable and an important issue of statewide significance that should be decided immediately; and (2) Plaintiffs' remaining challenges to the mask mandate did not meet any of the mootness exceptions.