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Bill Pentelovitch Authors Article on the Errors of Putting Recent Amendments to the Minnesota Constitution to Popular Vote for Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy

April 1, 2013

Bill Pentelovitch partner in Maslon's Litigation Group, has co-authored an article in the Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy titled, "When Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong: Why Recent Proposed Amendments To The Minnesota Constitution Should Not Have Been Put To A Popular Vote." The thesis of the article is that Governor Mark Dayton's veto of two proposed amendments to the Minnesota Constitution were not symbolic as widely believed at the time, but were in fact valid vetoes which should have prevented the amendments from being put to a popular vote. 

The article begins with a review of the contentious Minnesota Constitutional Convention of 1857 and the structure of the Minnesota Constitution that resulted. The article reviews the history of proposed constitutional amendments in Minnesota and demonstrates that until the past decade, every proposed constitutional amendment was submitted to and approved by the governor before being put to a popular vote. It also discusses an early Minnesota Supreme Court case which supports the proposition that approval of the governor is essential to putting a proposed constitutional amendment to a vote. The article goes on to conclude that, based on the language and history of the constitution, "Minnesota's attorney general and governors have operated under the historically incorrect and constitutionally unsound belief that the governor did not have the right to veto proposed constitutional amendments and the ability to force the legislature to override such vetoes by a two-thirds vote before the proposed amendment was put to the people for a vote."

To read the article, go to When Conventional Wisdom is Wrong: Why Recent Proposed Amendments To The Minnesota Constitution Should Not Have Been Put To A Popular Vote

Bill Pentelovitch, a trial lawyer and Fellow of the International Academy of Trial lawyers, has practiced exclusively in the area of business-related disputes for 39 years and is considered both a leading authority and a leading trial lawyer in Minnesota in the area of ownership and governance disputes in corporations, partnerships of all kinds, and limited liability companies. In addition to his substantial practice in the areas of business ownership and governance and non-competes, trade secrets, and unfair competition, Bill handles breach of contract, fraud, antitrust, securities, banking, and intellectual property trials.


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