A Minnesota-based public interest law firm said it’s looking for volunteers to challenge Gov. Tim Walz’s mask mandate.
The Upper Midwest Law Center, founded in 2019, told Alpha News that it’s currently seeking clients for a legal challenge to the mandate.
“UMLC would represent them in state or federal court, or both, without charge,” said Doug Seaton, president of the group. He said Minnesota citizens, businesses, churches, or other non-profits that are forced to comply with the mandate are eligible to join the lawsuit.
“We believe that individuals should make the choice on when and where to don a mask and that the governor has no authority to impose such a requirement under the federal constitution and in defiance of a state statute banning masks in public,” he added.
As Seaton pointed out, a Minnesota law prohibits people from concealing their identity in a public place by wearing a “robe, mask, or other disguise.” However, the law provides exemptions for religious beliefs, protection from weather, and “medical treatment.”
Gov. Walz’s July 22 mask mandate claims that wearing a face covering in compliance with his executive order is “not a violation” of the law.
“Right now there’s no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask. By combating the spread of COVID-19, masking will help protect our neighbors, keep our businesses open, and get us on track to return to the activities we love,” Walz argued in a press release issued last week.
The Upper Midwest Law Center has already filed one lawsuit against the Walz administration for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In May, the firm filed a lawsuit against Walz on behalf of multiple Minnesota churches and small business owners who were forced to close their doors.
A total of 32 states now require residents to wear masks in public. None of the states bordering Minnesota, including Wisconsin, have mask mandates in place.