The Maine state Supreme Court said Thursday that the 65 pieces of legislation that Gov. Paul LePage (R) missed the deadline to veto should be considered laws. The justices sided with state lawmakers who refused to take up the vetoes in mid-July because the typical 10 day period the governor has to act on legislation had lapsed.
LePage argued that lawmakers had taken a type of adjournment that prevented him from returning the vetoes, and under the state constitution he was allowed to wait until legislators reconvened for more than three days to send back the bills. Statehouse leaders of both parties, as well as most legal experts, had disagreed with the governor's interpretation of the constitution.
The justices -- issuing a 47-page opinion in what is known as a "solemn occasion" that was requested by the governor -- said the state constitution was "ambiguous" on the issue, but that "context, governmental tradition and practice, and judicial precedent" had guided their decision.
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