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Courts and Crime

Judge: Anti-CMP Ballot Initiative Should Go To Voters

"Say NO to 145-mile CMP transmission line through Maine" via Facebook

A Cumberland County Superior Court judge ruled on Monday that a citizens initiative aimed at killing Central Maine Power’s power line project can stay on the November ballot.

CMP had argued that the item would violate the constitutional separation of powers by undoing a permit issued by executive-branch regulators.

Justice Thomas Warren says that argument is a significant issue that may have merit — but that the courts should not weigh in until after voters have had their say.

Warren cites case law that tends to favor democratic processes that aid citizen authority, as well as precedent indicating the Legislature can undo decisions by utility regulators.

His ruling is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court.

Correction: The ruling was issued in Cumberland County Superior Court, not Kennebec County.