The Coastal Packet: Court overrules LePage on vetoes

Thursday, August 6

Court overrules LePage on vetoes

Press Herald - Maine’s top court has ruled unanimously against Gov. Paul LePage in his dispute with the Legislature over whether he has more time to veto 65 bills already processed into law, delivering a significant blow to a governor already engulfed in withering criticism and scrutiny seven months into his second term.

The court’s advisory opinion ruled that the governor misread the Maine Constitution when he failed to veto 65 bills within the 10-day period prescribed by law. LePage’s legal team argued that the Legislature prevented the governor from returning the vetoes because lawmakers had temporarily adjourned. However, the ruling by six of the seven justices on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected that reasoning. The seventh justice recused himself and did not participate in the proceedings.

In its essence, the 55-page opinion asserted that while the constitutional language describing a situation that prevents the governor from returning bills is ambiguous, the Legislature determines when it’s in session and when it adjourns, not the governor.

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