New Hampshire GOP: state Supreme Court Justices declining to attend hearing on resolution “repudiating” their advisory opinion is proof the opinion is “indefensible”

October 11th, 2011 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

Greetings Andrew Cohen readers!

I’ve noted the recent efforts of the New Hampshire House to “repudiate” a state Supreme Court advisory opinion that a bill they had put forth to compel the state’s AG join the anti-Obamacare lawsuits was unconstitutional (see here and here)

Seeming to echo sentiments by Newt Gingrich on Sunday that (federal) judges should be compelled to testify before Congress and defend unpopular opinions (h/t Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic), the NH House GOP has release a post on its blog claiming the failure of the Supreme Court justices to attend a committee hearing on the repudiation resolution (HR 13) is evidence the advisory opinion is “indefensible”.

The post includes the following passage:

In a necessary response, Rep. Greg Sorg, with others, introduced House Resolution 13, declaring the opinion of the Supreme Court to be incorrect, and urging the Senate to pass HB89. At the public hearing of HR13 on Sept. 20, all testimony was in favor of the resolution. The court failed to attend the public hearing, not even sending their usual counsel. Did the Supreme Court choose not to attend out of disrespect for the people and their elected representatives, or because they recognized that their opinion was indefensible? In any other court, the failure to attend a hearing without notice would be acquiescence.

The Constitutional Review Committee voted HR13 ought-to-pass, and sent it to the full House for the Oct. 12 session. Oct. 12, will be a defining moment in history for representative government in New Hampshire. Will the House defend the power delegated to them in the Constitution by the people, or let it be wrongfully handed over to unelected officials?

The editorial was written by State Rep. Dan Itse, chair of the Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification Committee which held the hearings on HR 13. Readers may recall Itse’s name; he was the same NH House member that had previously in the session introduced resolutions to unilaterally declare void several New Hampshire Supreme Court decisions, some dating back as far as the 1819 when the court was called the Superior Court of Judicature. The cases Itse tried previously to have unilaterally declare void are cited in the “whereas” clauses of HR 13.

Rep. Itse was also the lead sponsor of HR 7 which authorized the House Judiciary Committee to investigate impeaching Marital Master Phillip Cross “and/or any justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court” because of the House’s displeasure with various decisions rendered in family/divorce cases (see prior posts here).

Live video of the October 12 session will be available here.

Comments are closed.