SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court has opened the door to a lawsuit filed by top legislators against Gov. Susana Martinez that hinges on the governor’s use of line-item vetoes in a state budget bill.
The state’s highest court on Monday scheduled oral arguments in the case for May 15 and ordered the Martinez administration to file a written response by next week.
In the initial court challenge filed last week, top lawmakers asked the five-member Supreme Court to invalidate some of Martinez’s vetoes on the budget bill, arguing that the Republican governor overstepped her authority by axing all proposed funding – roughly $779 million – for legislative branch agencies, and public colleges and universities.
The Legislative Council, a group of leading legislators, specifically argued in its lawsuit that the governor’s vetoes violated the state Constitution’s separation-of-powers clause.