Rep. Turner Seeks Legal Proof of Gov. Shumlin’s Authority to Make VT Supreme Court Appointment

By Rep. Don Turner
This piece was released to the media on December 21.
On Wednesday Dec. 21, House Republican Leader Don Turner (Milton) filed a notice of quo warranto [“by what authority?”], contesting Gov. Shumlin’s decision to appoint a successor to Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley.
Rep Turner said, “Our State Constitution specifies that the governor shall fill a judicial vacancy with consent from the senate, but no vacancy exists on the five-member Vermont Supreme Court at present. When Justice John Dooley announced that he would seek retirement upon completing his current term, his intention to leave in the future did not amount to an immediate open position. Not until Justice Dooley steps down from the bench in April 2017 will an actual vacancy arise, and only then will the responsibility to appoint a successor fall on the sitting governor.”
“Drawing comparisons to the standoff between National Republicans and President Obama, in the aftermath of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, is disingenuous. While the US Supreme Court currently has only eight out of nine members on the bench, no such opening exists in Vermont’s highest court,” Rep. Turner added.
“By looking to make a consequential executive decision that should rightly be made in April 2017, at a time well past his gubernatorial tenure, Gov. Shumlin is setting a troubling precedent of overreach. Moreover, should he succeed, his decision will open the door to foreseeable litigation. In an effort to ensure transparency and accountability in the workings of our state government, I filed a quo warranto notice, asking Gov. Shumlin to present proof of his legal authority to make an appointment to the Vermont Supreme Court under the present circumstances,” Rep. Turner concluded.
– Don Turner is a State Representative from Milton, and serves as the Republican Leader in the House. 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

SHAZZAM December 23, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Windham county’s finest …. appointed by Governor Kunin to fill a vacancy, this is what we’re left with …. Gov. Shumlin setting a troubling precedent of overreach …. Simply the icing upon his leadership (sic) cake. He will be best remembered for his repeal of DOMA and his new, young bride – single payer health insurance via Jonathan Gruber – high cost of public education – divesting from Exxon Mobil in teacher and municipal retirement funds – failed majority vote in 2014/re-elected only after the Democratic controlled state legislature voted him in. Lets not overlook a 16 acre land deal with a man describe as being of limited intellect …. the NOT being related to Governor Kunin.


Jim Bulmer December 24, 2016 at 1:08 am

Happy day, at least someone as the guts to stand up to Shumiln. As for Dooley, it sounds like st–ley.


Steve Hearne December 24, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Thank you Rep. Turner. You represent all of Vermont in this instance.


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