The battle between Governor Paul LePage and the Maine legislature in the summer of 2015 was one of the most contentious – and strangest – in state history. Hanging in the balance were over sixty pieces of legislation that the Governor insisted had been vetoed, and which senators and representatives of both parties claimed had become law. To resolve the issue, the Governor turned to the state Supreme Court, which unanimously decided in favor of the legislators in a nonbinding “Opinion of the Justices.” This case note explores that opinion, and comes to the conclusion that while the Court arrived at the right decision, it did so without completely weighing the Governor’s strongest argument – probably because the Governor decided not to pursue it for political and practical reasons. This drama illustrates the fractured nature of the American legislative process at a time of seemingly unprecedented political animosity, and shows how that process, sometimes despite itself, works.
Connor P. Schratz,
How a Bill Becomes a Law in Maine: Governor LePage, the State Legislature, and the 2015 Opinion of the Justices on the Veto Question,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol69/iss1/7