Maine Supreme Judicial Court Hears Oral Arguments On 65 LePage Disputed “Vetoes”

Posted on July 31, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

AUDIO LINK HERE.

A full Court Room #12 awaiting oral arguments

A full Court Room #12 awaiting oral arguments

On July 17, Governor Paul LePage submitted the following questions to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Maine Constitution:

  • 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?
  • Did any of the action or inaction by the Legislature trigger the
    constitutional three-day procedure for the exercise of the Governor’s veto?
  • Are the 65 bills I returned to the Legislature on July 16 properly before that body for reconsideration?

The Court announced that they would hear the arguments within 2 weeks of the governor’s request. They also posted all documents submitted.

 

Documents:

From a media advisory:

STATE OF MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT Docket No. OJ-15-2 In the Matter of Request for Opinion of the Justices
ORAL ARGUMENT PROCESS

Governor LePage's legal council Cynthia Montgomery delivers her argument to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 7/31/15.

Governor LePage’s legal council Cynthia Montgomery delivers her argument to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 7/31/15.

The Justices will hold Oral Argument on the Governor’s Request for an Opinion of the Justices at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015, in Courtroom 12 of the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

The argument will proceed as follows:

    1. Counsel for the Governor (Cynthia Montgomery) will be allotted fifteen minutes for argument. Up to three uninterrupted minutes may be reserved; up to two minutes may be reserved for rebuttal.

    2. Counsel for Representatives Kenneth W. Fredette, Eleanor M. Espling, and Jeffrey L. Timberlake (Clinton Boothby) will then be allotted up to five minutes for argument. No uninterrupted or rebuttal time is allotted.

    3. Counsel for the President of the Maine Senate and the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives (Timothy Woodcock) will then be allotted up to fifteen minutes for argument. Up to three uninterrupted minutes may be reserved, but no rebuttal time is allotted.

    4. Counsel for the Attorney General (Rosemary Gardiner) will then be allotted up to five minutes for argument. No uninterrupted or rebuttal time is allotted.

    5. Counsel for the Governor will then argue in rebuttal if time has been reserved.

Here is the full press pool video.

Photos from within the courtroom here.

Afterwards, Rep. Jeff Timberlake (R-Turner), Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) and former Secretary of State Senator Bill Diamond (D-Cumberland) met with press to discuss the just concluded Maine Supreme Judicial Court oral arguments heard regarding the 65 vetoes disputed by Maine Governor Paul LePage.

Democratic House leadership released statements.

Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-N Berwick): “We thank the court for an incredibly fair, thorough and respectful hearing that reflects the seriousness of the issue. We are confident in our position that the laws in question must be enforced by the governor. We have faith the court will make the correct ruling on behalf of the people of Maine.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): “It is unfortunate that the governor chose to waste our tax dollars on lawyers and trials instead of admitting he made a mistake. I am confident that the justices will uphold over 100 years of legal precedent and that the 71 new laws that passed with bipartisan cooperation will stand.”

No word as to when there will be a response from the justices, but it could be fairly quickly.

———-

*RELATED: (UPDATED) The Curious Tale Of Governor LePage And The 19- Scratch That- 70 “Pocket Vetoes” LAWS


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