Friday, June 19, 2015

Maine: tribal effort to lift printing ban on portions of state constitution fails

For those following the strange story of Maine's redacted constitution: the effort to overturn the 1875 constitutional amendment supressing the printing of a section dealing with duties to the state's Indians has failed.

As I reported in today's Portland Press Herald, a bill that would have put the issue out to voters in a referendum was gutted after lawmakers became fearful of the possible cost of printing an additional ballot.

Rep. Henry Bear of the Maliseet tribe, the bill's sponsor, learned of the redacted passages of the constitution from reading my Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram series "Unsettled." (This piece in particular.) The bill initially had near unanimous support in the judicial committee.

Bear did not respond to requests for comment.

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