Governor’s Claim of “Pocket Veto” Ignores Maine Constitution, Says ACLU

Bills in Question Will Become Law

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
July 8, 2015 11:45 am

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AUGUSTA – Gov. LePage’s claim that he has used the “pocket veto” to keep nearly 20 bills from becoming law is invalid under the Maine Constitution, said the ACLU of Maine. Under the Constitution, the governor has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to veto bills after they have been passed by the legislature and presented to him, unless the legislature adjourns during that time. In this case, several bills have been waiting for action from the governor for more than 10 days, and the legislature has not adjourned the session.

The ACLU disputed the governor’s claims that he could “pocket veto” the bills, since pocket vetoes are only valid when the legislature has adjourned. Therefore, they will automatically become law without his signature.

The following can be attributed to Zachary Heiden, legal director of the ACLU of Maine:

“The Maine Constitution is clear on this. The governor had 10 days to veto the bills, he did not veto them, and now the bills will become law. We do not have a government of one, and the governor cannot make up the rules as he goes along.”

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