Webbert, Eve’s attorney, said the court appeared to recognize that a governor’s threats could endanger the private lives of citizen legislators.

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1st Circuit Considers Appeal in Lawsuit Against LePage

The attorney for Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves attempted to revive a lawsuit against Gov. Paul LePage before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday.

A three-judge panel heard arguments from attorneys representing Eves and the governor during a brief hearing in Boston. The panel will decide whether to overturn a decision by a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

David Webbert, Eves’ attorney, is trying to convince the panel that LePage acted illegally when he threatened to withhold over $1 million in state funding to a private nonprofit unless the organization fired Eves as its president. Good Will-Hinckley, the nonprofit, eventually withdrew its offer to Eves.

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Webbert says the judge erred when he ruled that judicial courts were not appropriate to resolve political disputes. In a statement, he said he remained confident the panel would rule in his favor based on reactions to his arguments yesterday. He said the court appeared to recognize that a governor’s threats could endanger the private lives of citizen legislators.