by Ed Naile
Deep in the bowels of the New Hampshire State Constitution is a word, one single word, that the activist NH State Supreme Court used to try and impose a broad-based tax on its citizens – because the NH Legislature will not do it. God Bless our citizen legislature.
Behold the word “cherish.”
Cherish is the word the NH Supra used back in the early 90’s as an excuse to change education funding from a local obligation to a state controlled spending machine. Many other states were in the process of pulling off this same scheme at the time. Apparently, our State Supreme Court, you know the one tangled in impeachment hearings for inside dealing a few years later, could not pass up the opportunity to follow what liberal, activist state courts were doing elsewhere.
Legal definition of the word cherish:
See: foster, keep, nurture, preserve, protect, regard, shelter
Burton’s Legal Thesaurus, 4E. Copyright © 2007 by William C. Burton. Used with permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
If you want to see the exact wording in the NH State Constitution where the Court developed a new state obligation to fund government education, instead of the established, historical, local control, it is in Part II, [Art.] 83. [Encouragement of Literature, etc.; Control of Corporations, Monopolies, etc.], which says in part:
“it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools, to encourage private and public institutions, rewards, and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and economy, honesty and punctuality, sincerity, sobriety, and all social affections, and generous sentiments, among the people:…”
“Cherish” now means control, provide, deliver, make available? No, it doesn’t. Just as the word “encourage” doesn’t mean the State has to fund private institutions. (Or does it?) There was a system of locally funded and controlled public and private schools in NH long before the Claremont education funding lawsuit appeared and the NH State Supremes re-invented the definition of the word cherish to suit their needs and political ends
Remember, a constitution rarely has a definition of a word included in it. The definition of words in a constitution are the definitions accepted and used at the time.
And this is why the drafters of our NH State Constitution did not include wording mandating state control of education funding, like this from Pennsylvania’s State Constitution, which is like many others:
The General Assembly shall “provide a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.”
Isn’t it funny how the NH Legislature fell for this scam?
That brings us to Part I of our State Constitution, Art 11. where without question it states inhabitants shall vote in the town or ward in which they are “domiciled.” There is no confusion about this – unless you want it confused. A domiciled voter is one who has made NH his legal residence, abode, home, habitation. You can only have one domicile. There is no other “definition.”
And here is where there is an opportunity to pull of a second Claremont education funding scam. This time with even more repercussions, such as controlling state and federal elected offices, along with our Presidential Primary Election.
The NH State Supreme Court had a perfect opportunity to “define” the word domicile two years ago in the case of NH letting non-domiciled students vote in NH. The NH Supremes didn’t do it. The NH AG defending the case didn’t even ask them to. No, they both seem to like it the way it is – pretending the specific constitutional requirement of being domiciled is not “defined” in law.
Right now, the NH Legislature is chasing its tail by participating in this charade by trying to define the word “domicile” to the satisfaction of those who do not want it defined. Good luck with that. I’ll see you in 2018, 2020, 2022 and beyond as you hone the definition to a fine point.
Meanwhile, the NH AG simply ignores out of state voters tampering with our elections through simply ignoring the law and pretending it doesn’t happen.