NH House Removes the Grievance Committee

The right to petition governments for redress of grievances is an essential liberty. Article 31 of the NH Constitution states: “The legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances…” and Article 32 states: “The people have a right… to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.” However, it is now more difficult to have your petitions answered.

In mid-December, the NH House Rules Committee voted 6-4 to recommend the removal of the Grievance Committee. On January 2, the House voted 226-147 to eliminate the committee. Supporters of the committee say it was a constitutionally created mechanism to help people redress grievances and that every petitioner coming before the committee had to propose a legislative action or the petition wasn’t entertained.

Rep. Gary Richardson, who motioned for the rule change, said the New Hampshire House is one of the most representative bodies, and any outstanding or pressing issue could be raised via legislation, on a case-by-case basis.

The main problem with that claim is that legislation can only be proposed during a brief period between Legislative Sessions. Secondly, the claim assumes that someone’s Representative will actually introduce the requested legislation.

  • davidinkeene

    I heard that they did the gun ban too

    • FK_reader

      That is really awful news.

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  • http://www.FreeKeene.com/ Bradley Jardis

    I miss Speaker O’Brien already.

    He wasn’t a perfect pro-liberty Speaker by any means, but he had the guts to take on bureaucratic nightmares on behalf of The People.

    • FK_reader

      No. That is crazy.

    • MaineShark

      O’Brien’s behavior is the top reason that the GOP lost so heavily in NH. He treated the place like a schoolyard, and the disgust for his antics “splashed” onto a lot of folks who were actually doing some good. Guilt by association is, unfortunately, a major issue these days.

    • http://www.FreeKeene.com/ Bradley Jardis

      I’m a fan of diplomacy, but also of action.

    • FK_reader

      O’Brien’s tenure as speaker was the polar opposite of diplomatic. The speaker needs to be able to listen to everyone’s words and arguments regardless of their party identity.

    • http://www.FreeKeene.com/ Bradley Jardis

      Fair point.

      I admit my bias for the guy because of his ballsy defense of Article 31.

    • MaineShark

      He had some victories. But, as we’re seeing, they were Pyrrhic victories.

    • Joseph Nabors

      What’s wrong with schoolyards?

  • http://www.facebook.com/angiemichael.freeman Angie Michael Freeman

    The constitutions are the problem.

    • FK_reader

      Government with no constitution would be terribly dangerous.

    • Joseph Nabors

      Government is dangerous with or without a constitution. The problem with a constitution is that it tricks you into letting your guard down. At least when there’s no constitution you’re aware of the danger.

    • FK_reader

      Government power needs to be strictly limited if it is to exist.

    • Joseph Nabors

      That’s true. But we were talking about constitutions, so you’re off topic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Case/100000387888930 Chris Case

      Do you think a constitution strictly limits a government?

    • FK_reader

      My honest answer? No. It is continuously barraged by legal interpretations limiting its strength. The constitution is a mere suggestion to the real statists.

    • PabloKOh

      Sovereign authority is dangerous.