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Perhaps it is inexperience. Or perhaps she’s simply insensitive to the give and take required in a system of state government where the authority to govern is apportioned between three separate branches of government, legislative, executive and judicial.
Whatever it is, New Mexico’s neophyte Gov. Susana Martinez’s use of the line-item veto to accomplish legislative ends she sought but failed to achieve at the 2011 legislature has key state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle talking about hauling her into court for exceeding her authority under the state Constitution.
There have been a number of instances where her veto practices have struck seasoned observers as constitutionally dubious.
Her line-item veto of a $450,000 legislative appropriation for the Commission on the Status of Women, for example, raised as many questions as it did eyebrows. What was she thinking? Where was she getting her advice?
Martinez had asked the Legislature to abolish that commission. Lawmakers declined to do so, however, whereupon she decided to extinguish the agency on her own initiative by peremptorily vetoing the legislature’s appropriation funding it.
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