Supreme Court of Minnesota decides that a ballot initiative on minimum-wage is the sole discretion of the Minneapolis City Council:

The Supremacy Clause of our United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) established the Constitution as supreme law of the land, becoming the cornerstone of our political structure.  It established that no matter what the federal government or states wish to do the laws made would have to comply with the Constitution.

In deciding A16-1367 , did the Supreme Court of Minnesota comply with the first amendment:

“Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the …  right of the people  … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”



A16-1367        Tyler Vasseur, et al., petitioners, Respondents, vs. City of Minneapolis, et al., Appellants, Ginny Gelms, in her capacity as Elections Manager, Hennepin County:


Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Daniel P. Rogan, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent Ginny Gelms

“The district court erred in granting respondents’ petition pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 204B.44(a) (Supp. 2015), and directing the Minneapolis City Council to include a question regarding a proposed minimum-wage amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter on the ballot for the general election because the City Charter vests general legislative authority solely in the City Council.”

Acting Justices, Judge Randolph W. Peterson and Louise Dovre Bjorkman.

(Took no part, Justices David R. Stras, David L. Lillehaug, Margaret H. Chutich and Anne K. McKeig)

In conclusion, the Mn Supreme Court decided that:

 “Minneapolis residents are not permitted to directly implement legislation by petition” that their elected representatives, “so far, have refused to” pursue), rev. denied (Minn. Aug. 25, 2005).5

 Is it time for an amendment to the Minneapolis city charter?

MPCA seeks comments through December 16, 2016 on Minntac draft permit

The MPCA will take comments through Dec. 16 on a draft permit under which U.S. Steel’s Minntac Iron Ore Operations will be allowed to continue operations near Mountain Iron in northern Minnesota.  No permit has been reissued since the original of 1987 expired in 1992 and this plant began operations in 1967, before the federal Clean Water Act was enacted.

After reviewing the history of Minntac Iron Ore Operations, one is drawn to the fact that water pollution from tailings ponds is forever and the question of how many more can we allow, if any?  Just like the issue of waste from nuclear power plants, isn’t it time to draw a line?

Comments will be accepted in writing and should be addressed to: Erik Smith, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. North,St. Paul, MN 55155 or

Include a statement about your interest in the draft permit, what action that you would like MPCA to take, and your reasons for supporting the position you hold.

For more information see: