Three Republican State Representatives demand that 189 State Reps be removed from office for VOTING to end “Stand Your Ground” law.
Three state representatives, including Al Baldasaro, have shown blatant disrespect for the voters of New Hampshire by demanding that 189 of their peers, duly elected members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, be immediately removed from office. Why? Because they voted to repeal the reckless 2011 “stand your ground” law, returning to the law in effect since 1977. It says that if you are in a confrontation and you are certain you can safely retreat, you should. If not, you can use deadly force. Most people would agree it is reasonable to think first rather than shoot first.
For 34 years, our New Hampshire state legislators never felt we needed a law like “stand your ground” to protect ourselves. By taking this action, Al and his fellow complainants call out the lawmakers of the previous 34 years.
When a bill is proposed, all legislators are given the opportunity to make their arguments about the constitutionality of a bill on the floor of the house. If the bill passes, it is up to a judge to declare a bill unconstitutional in a court of law.
The legal action proposed by these 3 individuals declares that 189 law makers violated the constitution by merely voting. It is the job of the legislature to vote. How could that action be unconstitutional?
If they are trying to claim that the bill reinstating the prior law is unconstitutional, they should know from history class that it is the judicial branch’s job to declare the bill unconstitutional once it is passed into law. That is the reason we have the system of checks and balances. If they think that the prior law is unconstitutional, requesting the removal of 189 law makers who disagree is not the solution. Requesting such action speaks volumes on their opinion of the law makers over the last 34 years who felt the law was acceptable.
Obviously the action of the 189 legislators was constitutional to vote on a bill, just as it was constitutional of the 184 legislators who opposed it to vote against it. Whether the bill itself is constitutional is irrelevant for the legal action sought against the 189 representatives. So why are these 3 representatives seeking the removal of 189 legislators? What precedent do you have to remove someone based on how they voted on a bill?
When a representative is removed, they are removed for violating their oath of office. What violation did 189 representatives commit by voting on this bill? Some of the very people bringing this case forward were in office before “stand your ground” so would they themselves not be in violation of the constitution? These three individuals did not elect 189 representatives. The people did. It is disrespectful to the people of New Hampshire to try and override their votes because they disagree on the passage of the bill.
Chairperson, Londonderry Democratic Committee