Whining the OverrideThe Tennessean is treating the Governor's veto of HB 962 as though it actually means anything at all:
The bill would allow handgun carry permit holders to take their weapons into any restaurant that serves alcohol, unless the restaurant owner posted a sign banning the weapons from his or her business. Supporters have said the bill protects Tennesseans’ Second Amendment rights; opponents have said having guns in areas with alcohol could be unsafe.The veto can be overturned by the legislature with a simple majority vote, something Bredesen acknowledged could very well happen.
“I certainly understand there’s a great potential, probably the likelihood of an override for this,” Bredesen said.
The framers of the Tennessee Constitution were some of the wisest men that our fair State has ever produced. As many may be aware, the Constitution of 1870 is closely patterned on the original Constitution of 1796. The differences are mostly those to be expected, such as the abolition of slavery, the extension of a Governor's term, and the abolition of property requirements. One of the things that those men made quite certain of is that the Executive Power of Tennessee is very weak power indeed.
The Constitution of the State of Tennessee Article III, Section 18, Paragraph 1:
Every Bill which may pass both Houses of the General Assembly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor for his signature. If he approve, he shall sign it, and the same shall become a law; but if he refuse to sign it, he shall return it with his objections thereto, in writing, to the House in which it originated; and said House shall cause said objections to be entered at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider the Bill. If after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the Bill, notwithstanding the objections of the Executive, it shall be sent, with said objections, to the other House, by which it shall be likewise reconsidered. If approved by a majority of the whole number elected to that House, it shall become a law. The votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of all the members voting for or against the Bill shall be entered upon the journals of their respective Houses.
During the last federal presidential administration, we heard a great deal about the danger of the trend toward a unitary executive. Much of this talk was coming from our friends on the Left, and not a few of these people were correct in their analysis that any trend toward a unitary executive-including during the Bush Administration-is very dangerous indeed. The framers of the Tennessee Constitution understood this, so they made certain that the powers of our Governor could never become anything close to unitary, by insuring that the superior power of governance in this State would ALWAYS reside in the Legislature.
Now that it appears that the General Assembly may override the Governor's veto of a bill they do not like, many Leftist bloggers and other liberal activists are complaining that the Governor's veto is weak because it only takes a simple majority to override it. That, of course, is exactly what the framers of the Tennessee Constitution intended. The Governor's veto of this bill will only stand if a majority in at least one House of the Legislature wills it to be that way. No Governor of Tennessee can ever govern without legislative consent.
The Left drapes themselves in constitutionalism only when it benefits them to do it. When constitutional law causes legislation to move against their way of doing things, they whine like spoiled children.
The Governor's veto will stand if the House decides to let it, and that is as it should be. Our Governor is answerable to the General Assembly which governs this State, the Legislature does not owe any answer to the Governor-only to the people who elected them.