Eric Black reports on the Minnesota Supreme Court decision to levy an addition $100 to the annual fee paid by practicing lawyers to renew their licenses.
The funds raised will to subsidize the operation of state public defender offices and Legal Aid — which help poor Minnesotans in criminal and civil cases, respectively.
In reluctantly enacting the order, the justices acted left no uncertainty that they are:
royally pissed off at the governor and the Legislature for abdicating their responsibility to raise the taxes necessary to cover the spending they order, including spending that is required by the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions.
Black covers implications of the case in his thorough way, so read his story. But if you don't, here's a taste of the concurring opinion [PDF] written by Justice (and Republican appointee) Paul Anderson, calling out Grover Norquist and his acolytes around the bathtub:
The problem with this approach is that when you continuously put the government's head under water, it is not the government that drowns — real people drown. Floodwaters breach levees and people drown. Bridges collapse and people drown. I have little tolerance for this anti-government rhetoric given the adverse consequences that result to real people, especially the least advantaged among us, when this myopic approach to governing actually gets translated into policy. I believe that government does have a proper, even an essential role to play in creating and preserving a civilized society.