Tag Archive: Constitution

How To Remove A Problem Like Trump

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the was some confusion on succession. The Constitution was not clear on whether the vice president would be president or acting president in the event of the death, resignation, removal or incapacity due to disability. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 …

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The Resistance: Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover

We are barely three weeks into the so-called presidency of Donald J. Trump and there is already talks of impeachment. Of course House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to down play the chatter, once again shirking her constitutional responsibility. “[There] are grounds for displeasure and unease in the public about the performance of this …

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The Resistance: Monday Night Massacre

Monday night, three hours after acting Attorney General Sally Yates issued a letter instructing US Attorneys not to defend Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, Trump fired her. The last time that happened was in 1973, when Richard Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox at the height of the Watergate scandal. It precipitated the resignation of Attorney …

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Has The Extortion Already Begun?

Has possible extortion of Donald Trump by foreign governments already begun? No, not the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC e-mails and speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is manipulating Trump with undisclosed hacked information, although that is pretty bad. This is about Turkey, China and the Philippines where Trump has extensive business interests. Last …

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Should It Ever Have Been A Matter Of Trust?

A question for those who trusted Barack Obama with national security, mass surveillance, drones and targeted assassination: Do you trust Donald Trump and his minions with those tools? If you don’t, it’s a bit too late for panicking There were those of us on the far left with a greater respect for the law and …

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Late Night Hosts React to the Last Debate

The last presidential debate ended last night with the candidates walking off the stage without even making eye contact, let alone a handshake. The take today is that Donald blew and, no matter how his campaign and supporters spin it, his refusal to say he would accept the election results was the final strike in …

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Protecting The 2nd Amendment At Any Price

On Monday the Senate voted on four bills on gun control. Needless to say, the wholly owned Senate defeated even the most reasonable measure that would have closed the loop hole in back ground checks at gun shows and on line. Instead Congress panders to the right wing gun lovers and idiots who think that …

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No Meetings, No Hearings, No Vote. May Not Be A Bad Strategy For The Left

The Senate Republicans appear to be once again on the road to self destruction. GOPers Commit to the ‘Three Nos’, Josh Marshal, Talking Points Memo There’s nothing really different today than what Mitch McConnell committed Republicans to only hours after Justice Scalia’s death. But we now have a formal embrace of the ‘Three Nos’: No …

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The Thurmond Rule Or The Constitution

No sooner had the news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death been announced when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) let it be known that the Senate would not even consider hearings on his successor. In a swift statement designed to warn Barack Obama against even nominating a replacement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pledged …

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Mainly Maine: Too Clever By Half

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The cocksure Tea Party governor of Maine, Paul Lepage, decided he would play games with what he thought were his veto powers under Maine’s constitution by using a pocket veto of 65 bills.

On Thursday, LePage delivered vetoes of 65 of those bills (the rest he returned unsigned) and urged the Legislature to consider his vetoes. Both House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, and Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, said they would not let the vetoes hit the floors of their respective chambers.

LePage argued that because lawmakers left Augusta on June 30, he had been prevented from returning the vetoes before the 10 days had expired. The Maine Constitution states that if a Legislature adjourns, the governor may hold bills until three days after they return.

The House and Senate passed a temporary adjournment order on June 30 to give LePage time to act on the bills. Top lawmakers and Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat elected by the Legislature, said that temporary recess was not adjournment, and thus did not give LePage more time to act.

Gov. LePage’s problem was that he was using his interpretation of the constitution, not what it really said. So off to the Maine Supreme Court he went. Briefs from both sides were submitted and oral arguments were heard last Friday

Today that court disagreed with the governor and those 65 bills are now law:

Gov. Paul LePage erred in his end-of-session veto gambit, and in so doing lost the ability to veto 65 bills that he opposed.

In an advisory opinion released by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday (pdf), the justices said that the bills in question became law without the governor’s signature, and that the Legislature should not be required to consider his attempted vetoes. [..]

In making its decision, the court relied in part on decades of precedent in which Maine governors had returned vetoes to the Legislature while it was in recess.

“History demonstrates that Maine governors, for nearly forty years, have routinely returned bills with their vetoes during temporary absences of the Legislature that came at the end of the session – after an “adjournment” but before the Legislature adjourned sine die,” the court wrote.

“These examples demonstrate that temporary adjournments of the Legislature near the end of a legislative session-whether until a date certain or until the call of the leadership, and whether beyond a ten-day period-have not prevented governors from returning bills with their objections to their Houses of origin within the constitutionally-required ten-day timeframe.”

LePage on Thursday thanked the court for its ruling.

Indeed, too clever by half.

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