Lawsuit re-filed against Fischback over dual roles

Published 7:41 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ST. PAUL — Republican Minnesota Lt. Gov. and state Sen. Michelle Fischbach was sued again over her dual roles on Tuesday, the long-awaited sequel to a previously dismissed lawsuit as Democrats attempt to win back control of the Senate.

As the Senate’s elected president, Fischbach automatically ascended to become lieutenant governor in January after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s appointment of Tina Smith to fill the U.S. Senate vacated by Al Franken. But Fischbach has fought to keep her central Minnesota Senate district seat and protect the GOP’s one-seat majority in the chamber.

A Ramsey County district judge dismissed a January lawsuit seeking to force Fischbach out of the Senate, in large part because it was filed before the Legislature resumed its session — and thus before Fischbach had carried out both roles.

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“This is not the right case, the right plaintiff, the right time or the right legal context to consider defendant’s eligibility to serve in the Minnesota Senate,” Judge John Guthmann wrote.