Constitutional challenge to Legislative Counsel and House Judiciary

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Among Vermont’s current plethora of new gun laws, is H 610. Masked in “domestic violence” language, this trash legislation is visibly unconstitutional.

After watching initial House Judiciary Committee hearings on this bill, I was stunned that Vermont’s Office of Legislative Counsel (represented at the House Judiciary Committee by Attorney Erik Fitzpatrick) did not even address the issue of potential conflict with the Second Amendment. I am an attorney with knowledge of the Constitution, so I wrote an article for American Thinker on H 610. (Attorney General TJ Donovan also gave testimony, in which he said his Office “fully supports this legislation.”)

Additionally, I forwarded that article to Luke Martel, Director and Chief Counsel at the Office of Legislative Counsel, demanding that he or his office explain this oversight. I have had no response:

From: John Klar <>
Date: Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 6:43 PM
Subject: article re your office
To: <>

I’ve watched for years as your office pretends to be nonpartisan but simply rubber-stamps Progressive legislation with little but lip service to Constitutional issues. Perhaps you can one day persuade me otherwise, but until then I will be holding your Office’s feet to the Constitutional fire. Mr. Fitzpatrick implied he wrote the H 610 legislation (seems to be pretty proud of himself). So is the ignorance of fundamental constitutional safeguards feigned, or are your office (or he) really that incompetent?

I await your office’s explanation of how H 610 even remotely passes Constitutional muster — scrap it now, or explain to the public (who are now listening intently) why it’s OK. Wanna add an appeal process? Too late.

Time for some accountability, sir — we have tired of this kind of failure, by people paid to protect us.

John Klar

For years I have watched our legislature ignore fundamental constitutional protections, as if they could just bypass those “inalienable” constraints as unimportant platitudes. I have come to question whether this Office does its job, and now my latest demand for accountability has been ignored. Further, I am unaware that Director Martel’s office has done anything to alert the House Judiciary Committee of my complaints. If so, this only confirms my fears — Vermonters are being disserved by those paid to protect them. There are also two very progressive attorneys on the House Judiciary Committee, including its Chair, Maxine Grad — are they utterly ignorant of basic Constitutional law, or just joining in an effort to enact illegal legislation? I think we all know that it is the latter.

The Office of Legislative Counsel has not protected Vermont citizens, here and elsewhere. I opposed unconstitutional laws against farmers — where was this Office then, to protect small farms? Sleeping at the wheel, as per usual. Does this Office employ any conservatives, or just progressives? I’m a voter, and I would like to be answered rather than ignored.

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5 thoughts on “Constitutional challenge to Legislative Counsel and House Judiciary

  1. Question – since when has the Constitution of the United States of America gotten in the way of the Dem/Lib/Progs as they seek to foist their socialist agenda on law abiding Vermonters???? Will this ever end?????

  2. The Progressives who want to grow government and want total centralized regulation and control of damn near everything, freedom of speech included, accuse of being Fascist the Conservatives who want fewer controls, fewer laws and smaller government. See if you can explain that.

  3. The Left in Montpelier give only lip service,if even that to the state and federal Constitutions.

    The tyrannical Left has no room for either Constitution,as a long stated goal of their’s is to supplant it and to further that goal it’s easy for them to ignore them and in return. The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be In agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid.

    John Marshall said in the Virginia convention “that protection against infringement of the Constitution would be provided by the federal courts: “If [Congress] were to make a law not warranted by any of the powers enumerated. It would be considered by the [federal] judges as an infringement of the Constitution which they are to guard.” They would declare it void, at least that was to be the goal until judges became a part of the legislative branch in their made up un Constitutional decisions.

    Vermont elected officials of any kind need to be held accountable for and to their oath .

  4. The beauty of both our Federal and State Constitutions is that they were written so the average person of the time could easily understand them.

    Now we have supposedly educated politicians, an Office of Legislative Counsel with questionable motives, and an Attorney General ramming obviously unconstitutional bills into law and expecting the rest of us rubes to follow them.

    I intend to treat their illegal laws the same as I would have been expected to treat an illegal order from a superior commissioned officer. They will be ignored.

    Thanks to Mr. Klar for attempting to make these State employees accountable.

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