Doug Mann brought Mark Dayton to his knees but ultimately failed to derail Vikings stadium
Dayton can breathe a little easier today -- he won't have to deal with a crushing stadium setback during his reelection campaign.
Yesterday afternoon, Gov. Mark Dayton pleaded with the Supreme Court to make a quick ruling on Doug Mann's lawsuit. With bond sales on hold indefinitely and the construction timetable about to be blown to smithereens, the governor publicly made the case that there was no time left to lose.
FROM THE VAULT: Minnesota Senator makes outrageous claims about Dayton
"I respect the Supreme Court and its prerogatives. I realize this is a very short turnaround being asked," he told reporters. "I just want the public and everyone to know the time urgency of this situation."
As that news broke, we called Mann, a laid-off nurse who dabbles in law, to get his reaction to somehow putting the $1 billion stadium project in such dire straits when everybody assumed it was already a done deal.
But just hours later the Supreme Court suddenly granted Dayton's wish and dismissed Mann's lawsuit. The court's legal justification for dismissing the suit, laid out in a five-page ruling, is technical -- click here to read it. Nonetheless, it clears the way for the state to sell bonds and thereby generate the revenue necessary to fund stadium construction and work on the adjacent downtown east redevelopment. (Justice Alan Page, a former Vikings lineman, recused himself from the case.)
Later in the evening, Mann issued a statement expressing befuddlement at the justices' rationale.
"The Court dismissed [the lawsuit] on jurisdictional grounds, saying that this is a 'tax issue' that should originate in District Court," Mann wrote. "The constitutionality of the law and statute authorizing the sale of appropriation bonds was not addressed at all."
But like it or not, Mann conceded the ruling probably kills the constitutional argument he was trying to use to derail the stadium project.
Given "the amazingly quick action... a request for review by the Supreme Court seems unlikely to be granted," he wrote.
At the end of his statement, Mann suggested he thinks the notification (or lack thereof) the justices provided him of their decision was bush league.
"I have not been formally notified of today's [action]," Mann wrote. "I did get a test email message... that indicates the Court's [sic] could have notified me before the press. I got notification via phone and email from members of the press corp."
h/t -- Pioneer Press
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