Galen Robinson talks unallotment at Drinking Liberally

At Drinking Liberally, the guest speaker was legal aid lawyer Galen Robinson. Galen Robinson recently argued the unallotment case before the Supreme Court.

Legal aid lawyers filed a class action on behalf of poor people who would be harmed by cuts to specific programs through Governor Tim Pawlenty’s use of unallotment. The lawyers filed a class action on behalf of the poor who would be irreparable harmed by reductions in government assistance. Unlike my case, Galen’s case has proceeded very rapidly.

Galen Robinson emphasized the importance of access to justice, the separation of powers, and the irreparable harm that would flow from unconstitutional actions.

Galen also talked about an increasingly polarized political system in which people are no longer talking to each other and the difficulties this causes. Galen was concerned that politicians are not making tough decisions, but were sidestepping these hard choices. One such example, was the use of unallotment.

Galen also spoke about the difficulty of forcing courts to come to terms with constitutional questions. According to Galen, courts try to find ways not to address these issues.

Galen Robinson acknowledged the help he received from amicus briefs as well as other lawyers. What began as a lonely quest, eventually snowballed into a huge coalition of legal forces aimed at challenging the governor’s use of the unallotment provision.

A decision in the case is expected soon. Here is a series of videos about his speech at Drinking Liberally. The equipment I am using is not ideal for coverage of these events. It is what I have to work with. (Hey, I’m a homeless blogger- what do you expect?)

Youtube forced me to break the video into 7 seperate parts- 10 minute cap.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 5.

Part 6.

Part 7.

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One Response to “Galen Robinson talks unallotment at Drinking Liberally”

  1. […] There are, of course, many many more political figures I have run into in various contexts and if you spend some time on the blog, you will realize this. There are also people like lawyer Galen Robinson who gave us a detailed overview of the unallotment issue currently pending before the Minnesota Supreme Court. A decision with potentially far reaching budget consequences is looming. You can watch the video of Galen Robinson here. […]

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