STEVE SMITH Trial Lawyers Represent GOP Lawmakers Suing Mills, Jackson, Ross Over “Unconstitutional” Legislative Session

Steve Smith Trial Lawyers will represent a group of plaintiffs, including Republican members of the State Legislature, in a lawsuit challenging constitutional violations committed by Governor Janet Mills and Democratic leadership in the Maine State Legislature.

Governor Mills, a Democrat, and the Democratic majority in the Legislature effectively colluded to pass a partisan budget bill in March.  The Democrats needed to pass the bill and formally end the legislative session before April, or else they would need bipartisan support for the bill to avoid a potential government shutdown.

After Democrats—without Republican support—passed the bill and ended the legislative session on March 30, 2023, Governor Mills then ordered the Legislature back to work, allowing the liberal-spending budget to remain effective and opening the door for the Democratic majority to continue passing legislation unabated.

The lawsuit alleges that Governor Mills overstepped her authority under the Maine Constitution by ordering the Legislature to reconvene after the session formally ended.  Governor Mills officially proclaimed that this “extraordinary occasion”—of the Democrats’ own doing, no less—required the Legislature to reconvene to complete the rest of its legislative business. The pressing business identified by Governor Mills includes such matters as confirming her nominees for judicial appointments and, vaguely, “whatever other business may come before the legislature.” Republicans and others have objected to this invented emergency as absolving the Democrats from the consequences of their votes.

Worse yet, Governor Mills’ actions are brazenly hypocritical. As Maine’s Attorney General in 2015, Mills wrote that it is solely up to the Legislature to determine when its own legislative session is over, and further added: “for another branch of government to reinterpret the decision of the Legislature [as to when its session ended] might well violate . . . the Maine Constitution.”

The political gamesmanship from the Democrats in Augusta appears extreme in light of the limited budget requests made by Republican lawmakers. Republicans claim that they had asked for small concessions in the nearly $10 billion budget, such as minor spending cuts and income tax cuts for middle-class Mainers.

The plaintiffs are represented by Carl E. Woock, Esq. and Stephen C. Smith, Esq.