Georgia Firearm Forums - Georgia Packing banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
68,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good article! :D

At least somebody cares about the rule of law.

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opin ... dveto.html

GUEST COLUMN

In killing tax cut, Perdue broke law

By TOM STUBBS (Tom Stubbs is a Decatur attorney)

Published on: 05/15/07


Governor Sonny Perdue acted illegally when he "unvetoed" the supplemental budget bill and again when he cut out the property tax break portion of that bill. He violated that pesky thing we call the Georgia Constitution.

It may not be convenient or what anyone wants, but the governor needs to call a special session of the Legislature so that his veto can be overridden or a new supplemental budget bill can be crafted.

There is no question that the governor vetoed the bill. He sent out press releases and pictures were published showing his veto signature.

After some conversations with legislative leaders, though, the governor apparently thought better of the legislation and "rescinded" his veto. He then deleted the portion of the bill that refers to the property tax break supported strongly by our state House of Representatives.

The Georgia Constitution states that the "governor may veto, approve or take no action on any such bill or resolution." Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the governor can "unveto" a bill. Once he vetoes a bill, it is dead, and only a vote by the Legislature overriding the veto can bring it back to life. Changing that arrangement would dramatically tilt the delicate checks and balances our Constitution provides toward the governor's favor.

In the 1870s, our courts were presented with a somewhat similar question. The governor signed a bill into law after the deadline for doing so. The Georgia Supreme Court held that bill did not become law, because, at the time he signed it, the governor ceased to have the authority to make the bill into a law. By reverse implication, once a bill is vetoed, it is dead and the governor does not have the authority to bring it back to life.

The governor may contend that he can rescind his veto because he had not transmitted the vetoed bill to the Legislature when he retracted his veto. That dog won't hunt. The Constitution specifies very carefully the procedures that are to be followed once a veto is made, and none of those procedures includes an option for a governor to "take it back."

He is required to transmit that vetoed bill back to the Legislature, along with his reasons for the veto. The Constitution gives the governor no choice on the transmittal. Moreover, the requirement for transmitting the vetoed bill back to the Legislature is not tied in our Constitution with the provision describing the veto itself.

Admittedly, the Constitution does not say what happens if the governor fails to transmit his reasons for the veto. It certainly does not say that the veto is undone. Presumably and most logically, the provision simply would give the Legislature the right to compel transmission of the vetoed bill to the Legislature so they could attempt to override it.

In another case from the 1870s, the governor refused to send a bill that had become law to the secretary of state, as the governor is required to do under the Constitution. This prevented the bill from being officially designated as a statute.

The court ruled that the governor had no choice under the Constitution and was required to send the bill to the secretary of state, much as here the governor has no choice under the Constitution and is required to transmit the vetoed supplemental budget bill back to the Legislature.

The impropriety of Perdue's "unveto" is shown by how it has no parameters in the Constitution or statute. When is the latest he can unveto? Can he do it while the Legislature is trying to override the veto? Afterward? Two years later?

After he unvetoes a bill, can he veto it again, and if so, how long does he have to do it? (The Constitution requires him to veto a bill soon after he receives it.) Can he keep vetoing and unvetoing a bill to postpone making a decision on it? If the governor can pluck this power from thin air, then there are no limits to how it can be applied.

The governor also used his line-item veto power incorrectly when he cut out the property tax provision. The Constitution allows the governor to veto a line item â€" an entire line item â€" but he may not decrease that line. It's all or nothing.

The tax rebate is not a line item. It is a part of a line item and appears in the supplemental bill for information only. By "vetoing" a part of a line item, he, in effect, reduced the line item.

That's not allowed.

A government can do nothing more powerful than make a law. It is the power to turn the written word into edicts that can be enforced with the barrel of a rifle. For that reason, the rules set out in our Constitution governing how a law is made must be strictly followed. Neither the Legislature nor the governor has the right to play with the recipe for making a law.

The governor should reconsider his Constitution-stretching unveto, declare the bill vetoed and convene a special session of the Legislature. If he refuses, then leadership from both sides of the aisle and both chambers of the Legislature should join together to force the governor to abide by the Constitution, even if that means suing him to force the return of the vetoed bill.

This is not partisan. This is not even about the substance of the supplemental appropriation. It is about the balance of power struck by our Constitution between the branches of government. There should be few more important concerns to our citizens or our legislators.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,139 Posts
LOCK HIM UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,703 Posts
Trying to pull a "Pelosi"! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,172 Posts
Dan H said:
He's just doing what every other politician does, make the rules up as they go...
So, what's the problem? They all do it, so why is this one different?

Actually, I think you should run for office. Young, reasonably attractive, almost articulate and you'll have us behind you.

So, go for it!!!

Who knows? You might be the next governator or, more importantly, the next probate judge! Do it Dan!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Macktee said:
Dan H said:
He's just doing what every other politician does, make the rules up as they go...
So, what's the problem? They all do it, so why is this one different?

Actually, I think you should run for office. Young, reasonably attractive, almost articulate and you'll have us behind you.

So, go for it!!!

Who knows? You might be the next governator or, more importantly, the next probate judge! Do it Dan!!!
You know, I really should and I will ensure everyone gets their GFL within 10 business days instead of this crap Im going through. I will appoint Ramm to DA...

What can they do that I can't? I can lie, I can cheat, and I'm really good at stealing.... :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,703 Posts
Rammstein said:
jgullock said:
Trying to pull a "Pelosi"!
I don't get the reference.
Trying to take back her vote for the Iraq war after she gave it. You really gotta get out more. :D
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
68,665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Will anybody in government take Mr. Stubbs' concerns seriously?
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top