As arguments near, ND Legislature fires back at Burgum in veto dispute

The Legislature’s temporary, filed Monday, Feb. 12, once more asks justices to find out whether or not a number of vetoes the governor issued final yr are void. It additionally asks the courtroom to seek out that Lawyer Basic Wayne Stenehjem “lacks standing” to hitch Burgum in a cross-petition that challenges elements of two payments the Legislature handed.

The newest authorized temporary comes as oral arguments earlier than the state’s highest courtroom inch nearer. Attorneys have been requested to order the morning of March 19, however that would change.

Stenehjem stated they will file a response to the newest submitting by Feb. 26.

The Republican-led Legislature initiated the authorized dispute in December when it petitioned the state Supreme Courtroom in a problem to 5 of Burgum’s vetoes on elements of finances payments lawmakers handed within the 2017 session. Stenehjem responded in January, asking the courtroom to reject the lawmakers’ petition as a result of “it doesn’t current precise controversies of a justifiable nature.”

However in a cross-petition, Stenehjem requested the courtroom to declare sections of two payments unconstitutional as a result of they provide the Finances Part, an interim legislative committee, an excessive amount of energy.

Monday’s reply, drafted by two Bismarck attorneys representing lawmakers, argues these sections are constitutional. Furthermore, it stated there isn’t any authorized authority for Stenehjem to problem the Finances Part provisions.

“To grant the lawyer common unfettered standing to problem a legislative enactment when his workplace has no direct stake within the consequence would significantly disturb the stability of powers between the three branches of presidency,” the Legislature’s temporary states.

The Legislature additionally stated an lawyer basic’s opinion “doesn’t represent regulation and doesn’t supplant this courtroom in ruling upon the constitutional questions introduced.”

Stenehjem, a former state lawmaker who misplaced the 2016 Republican main election for governor to Burgum, issued an opinion final yr that stated Burgum overstepped his authority on some vetoes. The governor, in a courtroom affidavit, stated the opinion “resolves the query of the effectiveness” of the vetoes.

The dispute began simply after the Legislature adjourned in late April 2017, when Burgum vetoed at the least elements of 9 payments. A strong interim legislative committee voted in September to pursue authorized motion, a transfer criticized by Burgum as a waste of taxpayer cash however one which some lawmakers stated was wanted to make clear the roles of the legislative and government branches of presidency.

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