The Divine Right Of Ward Heelers

I’m picturing DFL Representative John Lesch – he of the Capone suits and the junior-high demeanor – apparently believes that “legislative privilege” immunizes one from being a ghastly little entitled jagoff.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals, to my boundless amazement, disagrees:

State Rep. John Lesch is not protected by “legislative immunity” in a defamation case brought against him by St. Paul city attorney Lyndsey Olson, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
The decision allows Olson’s case to proceed.
Olson sued Lesch last year after he sent a letter to incoming St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter criticizing her work history and judgment, saying she has a “track record of integrity questions and management problems.”

If you’re a commoner and you make statement of fact about someone that are false, that can damage their reputation and living, and are done with malicious disregard for fact, it’s actionable.

Lesch apparnetly believes that being an elected DFLer in a one-party city confers divine right.

To be fair, there’s not much about any urban DFLers experience that would teach ’em otherwise, under normal circumstances.

So maybe, just maybe, Lesch’s arrogance and stupidity went outside the norm?

Lesch, a Democrat who represents part of St. Paul, has sought to dismiss the suit, arguing in part that he has legislative immunity. He will file a petition in the next month with the Minnesota Supreme Court, his attorney Marshall Tanick said.
“The Appellate Court construed the legislative immunity of legislators extremely narrowly, and we think that it’s more proper to take a broader view of what legislators do,” Tanick said.
He said he hopes the Supreme Court decides to take up the case to provide “clarification and guidance” on legislative immunity.


If the SCOM rules that “legislative immunity” protects any (DFL) pol’s statement, anywhere, for any reason, no matter what the context, then it is time for someone to take a can of Raid to the whole enterprise.

6 thoughts on “The Divine Right Of Ward Heelers

  1. That would be an interesting decision, to decide that legis-critters have immunity from libel and slander laws when they’ve in general got a “bully pulpit” of uncritical reporting by the media. OK, so they get to function as a manure spreader without even the possibility of rebuke in court? Seriously?

  2. The Court opinion included this gem:

    In the closing paragraph, Lesch commented that “this is a personal letter from me to you” and expressed that he was looking forward to working with the mayor during the legislative session.

    A personal letter to the Mayor isn’t the same as a speech on the floor of the House. The fact he can’t see why the difference matters, speaks volumes.

    https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/2019/OPa181694-070119.pdf

  3. I hope that Lesch gets the smack down of his life, thus far and that he has to pay damages! Let’s see how liberals here in MN treat their, especially when plaintiff is a woman.

  4. Lesch really is a fetid piece of work.

    He says he believes Olson would “sacrifice justice in pursuit of a political win—even going so far as to commit
    misconduct to do so” in a bitter, vindictive piece of correspondence that was itself clearly motivated by political animus, and which we have good reason to believe will be found to represent an act of misconduct.

    Hope it costs him a bundle.

  5. Speaking of the “divine right of ward heelers”, has anyone noticed that Kamala Harris hired Marc Elias as her campaign attorney? Elias is the guy who initiated the whole Trump/Russia thing by (illegally) pumping money to Fusion GPS.

    He is also the guy who stuck Minnesota with Al Franken and Mark Dayton by covering up their electoral irregularities.

    Divine rights do not descend from heaven by magic. It takes attorneys.

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