Sununu and His Attorney General Hang Secretary of State Gardner (and the President) Out to Dry

This is the third in a series of posts about a lawsuit the ACLU-NH has brought against Secretary of State Bill Gardner that is intended to prevent New Hampshire from participating in President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Continue reading

The ACLU-NH Lawsuit Versus Secretary of State Bill Gardner: Is Sununu Just Playing “Matador Defense”?

The phrase “matador defense” refers to basketball players who do not put much effort into playing defense.  Defense is played with your feet in basketball.  Matador defense occurs when the defensive player makes a great show of waving his arms, but doesn’t move his feet and the offensive player dribbles right past.

These tweets have me concerned that Governor Sununu and his Attorney General are planning on putting on only a “matador defense” against the ACLU-NH’s lawsuit against Bill Gardner, which as I discussed in detail here is intended to prevent New Hampshire from participating in President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity:
So apparently, without even seeing the decision, Sununu has already ruled out an appeal.  This is significant because the odds highly favor the case being heard by a Democrat-appointed judge who will not rule based on the law -which as I discussed here requires that the lawsuit be dismissed because the plaintiffs lack standing– but based on his or her political inclinations -that is, in favor of the ACLU-NH. Continue reading

The ACLU’s Lawsuit Against Secretary of State Bill Gardner is Total Bullcrap

The New Hampshire Democrat Party has brought a lawsuit against New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, which effectively would prevent New Hampshire from participating in President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.  (Yes it was nominally brought by the New Hampshire chapter of the ACLU, but the ACLU-NH is as a practical matter a surrogate for the Democrats.)

As I will discuss in more detail below, the law in New Hampshire is that in order to bring a lawsuit the persons or entities brining it (the plaintiffs or petitioners) must have “standing.”  That is, they must be able to show that they will suffer a definite, personal injury from the unlawful conduct alleged in the lawsuit as opposed to suffering in some indefinite way in common with people generally.

The petitioners in this lawsuit are State Senator Bette Lasky, State Representative Neal Kurk and the ACLU-NH.  None of them have standing.  Indeed, none of them even allege they have standing.  The lawsuit, therefore, is total bullcrap and should be dismissed. Continue reading

Duncan v. State Did Resolve the Issue, and Not in Mr. Duncan’s Favor

The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued its decision in Duncan v. State of New Hampshire back in August of 2014, but the case has been back in the news recently because State Senator Jeb Bradley does not like that the case was decided based on standing, or more specifically the plaintiffs’ lack of standing.  I blogged about it previously here and related posts can be found here and here. Continue reading

Why Does Jeb Bradley Want Turn New Hampshire Courts Into a Super-Legislature?

Lat year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued its decision in Duncan v. State, which involved the constitutionality of a law that allowed businesses tax credits for funding scholarships for private schools.

The trial court had found the law unconstitutional (see related post here).  The Supreme Court reversed, finding that the plaintiffs (the parties who brought the lawsuit) did not have “standing” to sue. Continue reading

The Ironic Demise of Judge John Lewis

Retired Superior Court Judge John Lewis’ most well-known decision is probably his ruling in Duncan v. State of New Hampshire, in which he ruled that New Hampshire’s education tax credit law violated the New Hampshire Constitution’s prohibition on using taxes to fund religious schools (“no money raised by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for the use of schools or institution of any religious sect or denomination”).  The decision made him a hero of the New Hampshire left. Continue reading

Jasper-Republicans and Democrats Push for Less Transparent Government

Last session, the rules of the New Hampshire House provided that, “[a] roll call shall be taken when a member moves for a roll call vote and that motion is seconded by 10 other members.”  Absent a roll call, we have no way of knowing how our representatives voted.

Yet this past Thursday, by a unanimous 10-0 vote, the House Rules Committee voted to change the rule to require twice as many seconds.

This is 2014, not 1814.  Voting is done electronically.  We don’t have a show of hands and have the Clerk walk up and down that aisle writing down who voted yes and who voted no.  A roll call vote takes no more time than a “division vote,” a vote that electronically records the yeas and nays but not who voted yea or nay.  (The third form of voting is  a voice vote where the Speaker determines if there were more yeas or nays (which some representatives thinks means you shout as loudly as you can)).

It only takes one representative to require a division vote.  And that is all that should be required for a roll call vote.  The public has a right to know how their representatives vote.  Doubling the number of seconds makes it easier for a Speaker who doesn’t want a roll call vote on a certain bill or bills to use his influence to prevent the roll call. Continue reading