Courtesy of Lise from Maine – Researcher and Author of “Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go?”
Lise DuPont is a former licensed clinician. She graduated from high school from Our Lady of the Mountains Academy in New Hampshire. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maine, a Master’s degree from the University of New England, and completed two years of Post-Graduate training at the Center for the Awareness of Patterns.
“There has been a media frenzy regarding whether the legislature adjourned or not on June 30, 2015.
The legislative Joint Order states “On motion by Senator Mason of Androscoggin, following Joint Order: S.P. 556 – Ordered, the House concurring, that when the House and Senate adjourn they do so until the call of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, respectively, when there is a need to conduct business, or consider possible objections of the Governor.”
This order clearly shows that the legislature could meet again in the future to discuss issues of that session which would be a continuation of the issues. “Sine die” is not mentioned in the order, and this is a very significant piece to comprehend.
1843 Bouvier’s Law Dictionary:
NO word “adjourn” appears in the said dictionary.
“Adjournment, is the dismissal by some court, legislative assembly (emphasis is mine), or properly authorized officer, of the business before them, either finally, which is called an adjournment sine die, without day; or, to meet again at another time which is appointed and ascertained, which is called a temporary adjournment.”
This definition shows that there are two ways to adjourn, and they are “opposite” of each other. The first definition is a finality (sine die), and the second definition leaves the “door” open to meet again, if need be.
Attorney General Janet Mills responded to an inquiry from Senators Hill and Saviello on July 10, 2015 regarding the “status of bills” presented to the Governor which he has neither signed nor vetoed. In the first paragraph she states “The Legislature has not adjourned sine die, and more than ten days have elapsed since certain bills were presented to the Governor.”
Why is she arguing something that is NOT in the Joint Order? Doesn’t she know that there are two (2) ways to adjourn or was that NOT taught in law
Is she being clever and manipulative or is she ignorant?
Nowhere in the Joint Order does it say “sine die” which means “finality” meaning that the legislature will not be meeting again regarding those laws discussed and passed. In other words, “sine die” means that the session is over.
The Constitution of the State of Maine (statutory one of 2013) clearly spells it out regarding adjournment and more which is located in Article IV, Part Third, Section 2.
Since the legislature has been “adjourned” (the second definition in the 1843 Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) since June 30, 2015, then how can the Governor present these bills to the legislature since “no one is home” so to speak in the legislative chambers? In actuality, the Governor is being prevented from doing so, and his hands are “tied” at this time. He is waiting for them to return in session so he waits to do something with those bills.
This is NOT about liking or disliking Governor LePage, this is about the “rule of law.”
SP 556 – Bill Text, click here.
Governor Paul LePage legal memo, click here.
A.G. Janet Mills’ Opinion, click here.
Legislative Council’s letter to Cynthia Montgomery, LePage’s Chief Legal Counsel, click here.
Related: As The Fur Flies At The State Capital…Maine Governor Paul LePage And Legislators Clash Over Fate Of Bills Still On Governor’s Desk, click here.
- Brief of Lise McLain and Dorothy Lafortune, of Gilead and Portland, respectively, filed July 24, 2015