Maine Governor Paul LePage Requests Opinion of Maine Supreme Court Over Veto Dispute and the Legislature’s Adjournment

BDN reports “Gov. Paul LePage’s contention that the Legislature is adjourned and that he has the right to hold 70 enacted bills until lawmakers reconvene was rebuffed on two fronts late Friday afternoon, including  an opinion from Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills.

The opinion, which was requested by Sens. Dawn Hill, D-Cape Neddick, and Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, has been circulated to a range of lawmakers and the governor’s office. It is unlikely to sway LePage, who has said he will ask the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to rule on the matter if it is not otherwise resolved.  Read more HERE.

The Maine Wire reports “A Breakdown of the Veto Dispute.” Read more HERE.

7-24-15 – PPH article “Groups weigh in with state’s high court on LePage’s veto dispute with Legislature”, read here, and updated to this article, read here.

BDN reports “Gov. Paul LePage, legislative leaders, the attorney general and several advocacy groups made their cases to the state’s highest court Friday, submitting detailed legal briefs in a dispute over whether 65 bills are in law or vetoed.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will consider the written briefs ahead of oral arguments scheduled for next week.” Read more HERE.

GOVERNOR’S REQUEST FOR OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

On Friday, July 17, 2015, at 12:40 p.m., the Governor of the State of Maine, Paul R. LePage, submitted the following questions to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Maine Constitution:

  1. What form of adjournment prevents the return of a bill to the Legislature as contemplated by the use of the word, adjournment, in Art. IV, pt. 3, §2 of the Maine Constitution?
  2. Did any of the action or inaction by the Legislature trigger the constitutional three-day procedure for the exercise of the Governor’s veto?
  3. Are the 65 bills I returned to the Legislature on July 16 properly before that body for reconsideration?

Documents:

The court has set a deadline of noon Wednesday for response briefs, and will hear oral arguments from the governor and the Legislature Friday, July 31.

This is an interesting article by the PPH “Denied public funds, Maine Republican House leader, Kenneth Fredette, to tap private funding for lawyer in veto case.” Read more HERE.

Related:

State of Maine Legislature Glossary of Terms: ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE – Adjournment Without Day. This is the final adjournment of the session when all business has been completed.

ORDERS ADJOURN WITHOUT DAY, Thursday, July 16, 2015 – S.O. 24 and S.O. 25, click here.

To note* – The Legislature had no authority to re-convene after June 17th based on Title 3, sec. 2 which states they must adjourn on the 3rd Wednesday of June, unless they extend the days. They didn’t extend the days on June 17th.

Courtesy of Lise from Maine…
“In Article IV, Part Third, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Maine it says that the Legislature must establish a law citing “limitations” regarding time frames of the first and 2nd legislative sessions.

That law is Title 3, MRS, Section 2 where it states that the first legislative session will end on the third Wednesday of June unless there is an emergency and they can extend it for 5 days excluding Sundays, and if there is “another” emergency, then they can extend it for another 5 days and must extend an extra day for the Governor to bring forth his objections, if any. This is a total of 11 days only and no more.

They ONLY get 11 days total as they can’t go on forever. There must be an ending according to law and there is.

The 3rd Wednesday in June of this year is June 17th. The legislature did NOT extend any days on June 17th which means that they were adjourned (finished) according to Title 3, MRS, Section 2. The law says what it says and means what it means. No getting around it.

On June 18th the legislature met again unlawfully and extended their session for 5 days by those present and voting.They were NOT allowed to do this as it violates Title 3, MRS, Section 2which is a constitutional mandate. They had NO delegation of authority to proceed to meet on June 18th, and this constitutes criminal activity by all those voting on that day and subject to impeachment.

Anything they did AFTER June 17th is fraud and treason. They either had the authority or they didn’t. In this situation, they did NOT have any authority to proceed beyond June 17th. Plain and simple it was over on June 17th.

This is very simple to follow, and it is short and sweet and to the point.

Talkshoe Radio – Adjournment Fiasco Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and The Legislature, listen HERE.

Do Maine Legislators Understand The Constitution? Read more HERE.

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