Legislative Management to meet in Sept. to discuss a lawsuit against Gov. Burgum

Aug 28, 2017

Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), chairman of Legislative Management.
Credit ND Legislature

Legislative leaders will meet September 28th to decide whether to file suit against Gov. Doug Burgum over some of his line-item vetoes.

The Legislative Management Committee will hold an executive session to discuss the potential lawsuit with its legal counsel. But any vote on whether to file that suit will be held in open session.

"The lawsuit itself is not a slam-dunk," said the chairman of Legislative Management, Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks). "What we are asking the North Dakota Supreme Court would be to take original jurisdiction to solve a conflict."

Holmberg said he's sure the Governor's office will argue there is no conflict, because Burgum is abiding by the opinion issued by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. Stenehjem found that some of Burgum's vetoes were legally fine, others were not.

Holmberg said the High Court would not have to accept the case, either.

"They can just say, it's just not ripe,' Holmberg said.

Back in June, the Committee unanimously agreed to look at a potential lawsuit. But Holmberg said he can’t predict how a vote would go on any final decision.