Governor LePage Files Motion to Extend in Lawsuit Over AG's Legal Authority

December 18, 2018

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA -- Governor Paul R. LePage has filed a motion to extend the deadline in his lawsuit based on the Attorney General having exceeded her authority by bringing a federal suit in a different state on behalf of the people of Maine without being directed to do so by the Governor or Legislature.

"These appeals raise important legal questions, which are not personal to us as individuals, but rather relate to the respective offices of Governor and Attorney General under the Maine Constitution," stated Governor LePage. "The appeals should not be mooted by reason of the change in the office holders. The public interest would be served by her agreeing to have these cases continue to a decision by the Law Court by substituting the parties with the new office holders."

The statute (5 MRS sec. 191) states, "The Attorney General or a deputy, assistant or staff attorney shall appear for the State . . . in all the courts of the State and in those actions and proceedings before any other tribunal when requested by the Governor or by the Legislature or either House of the Legislature."

"Although Janet Mills has informed us of her intent to dismiss this lawsuit upon her becoming Governor, it is not in the best interest of the people of Maine to do so. This is an opportunity to clarify the law and establish boundaries. If a time comes during her administration where there is again divided government, she may regret not having pursued this lawsuit," Governor LePage added.