The Criminal Law Case That is Too Interesting to Pass Up
In this web log, I have tried to avoid commenting on cases involving the criminal law – not because these cases do not occur “in the public sector,” as they surely do, but more because these cases involve a range of substantive law and policy questions that are quite different than the bulwarks of administrative law.
But every good rule has its exceptions; and so I am urging every learned Minnesotan to take time to read, and think about, the opinion issued on Thursday in State v. Losh.
In the context of an appeal by Stephanie Losh (who was involved in a brutal murder and kidnapping in the fall of 2002), the Minnesota Supreme Court touched upon the separation of powers between the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. In Losh, the Court asserts that because the Minnesota Constitution gives it “appellate jurisdiction in all cases,” the Court, and not the Minnesota Legislature, likewise has the power to set the time limits for filing appeals.
While I am not sure if that proposition is true, and I have not read the briefs on this point, I think that this is a conclusion that is truly profound in its scope and reach.
Likewise interesting, while the Court split 6 to 3 in Losh, none of the dissenting justices quarreled with the idea that the Minnesota Legislature crossed the constitutional boundary when it set a time limit for certain appeals.
The full opinion is accessible here.