Rhode Island’s Presumptive New Historian Laureate Testified Against Separation Of Powers

On Friday, Governor Chafee signed the bill that created the unpaid position of state Historian Laureate.
Per the ProJo,

… the presumptive candidate-in-waiting has been the controversial lawyer, historian and developer Patrick T. Conley.

Let’s not forget that in the mighty battle to bring separation of powers to Rhode Island, Dr. Conley testified at length against the measure – and as an “expert”, at that. (Thank you, Common Cause, for the record.)

April 9, 2003
More expert testimony is heard against the Gorham bill. The only expert witness who testifies this evening is a former professor of history at Providence College Patrick T. Conley, the author of Democracy in Decline, a study of the history of Rhode Island’s first constitution as well as other scholarly books and pamphlets.

At the request of Governor Chafee, the position of Historian Laureate will

… be merely “honorific” and not confer “official status” to any of the laureate’s statements.

Nevertheless, it will be reflective of all that has been and gone wrong for decades with a state that has a constitutionally muscular legislature if the state’s first Historian Laureate vigorously opposed even the modicum of balance between the executive and the legislative represented by separation of powers.

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