Republican Gov. Paul LePage is taking his ongoing dispute with Attorney General Janet Mills to the state’s highest court.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hold oral arguments Thursday on questions posed by the governor regarding the scope of the attorney general’s power.

LePage asked the court last month to decide whether he can hire private lawyers without the attorney general’s permission when she declines to defend his administration. He says that granting Mills the power to deny him outside counsel could block him from carrying out his policies.

Mills has refused to represent LePage in two cases because of disagreements with the governor. She says the issues raised by the governor don’t rise to the level of a “solemn occasion” needed for the court to render an advisory opinion.

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