A Ramsey County judge ruled Friday that Gov. Mark Dayton exceeded his authority in ordering a union election for certain in-home child-care providers.
Judge Dale Lindman declared Dayton's order, issued Nov. 15, "null and void because it is an unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature's constitutional right to create and or amend laws and as such is a violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine."
So what should Dayton have done?
Lindman's order ruled that the elections ordered by Dayton cannot occur.
"The proper method to proceed is for the matter to be brought to the Legislature," Lindman's order reads. He argued that Dayton's order is an attempt "to circumvent the Legislative process and unionize child care providers by executive order, rather than by adhering to a valid Legislative process."
Since the lege would never agree to this, Dayton needed to do something to pay off his union pals. That's politics, but there was a larger implication to what Dayton was attempting, as Ed Morrissey points out:
Dayton attempted to bypass the state legislature in this effort by declaring through executive order that day-care centers that indirectly receive state aid through their clients are in effect public-sector workplaces — a definition not found in law or in legislative intent.
And what would that mean? Morrissey:
[H]ad Dayton succeeded in his imposition of public-worker status, the precedent established would have been so broad as to threaten the very notion of a private-sector workforce altogether. Where would the limits have been? Fast-food restaurants that take food-stamp debit cards? Medical care facilities that accept Medicaid patients? Just as in ObamaCare at the federal level, it would be difficult if not impossible to find a limitation of power in that kind of precedent.Which is the idea, of course. We all owe Judge Lindman thanks.