Nader Case Goes Beyond Weird

[UPDATE @ 9pm: Abstract Appeal reports that the Florida Supreme Court reversed the trial court's reinstatement of its stay, thus reinstating the automatic stay supplanted by Judge Davey….but added its own order stopping everything — no mailing of ballots until it rules. And it set oral argument for Friday 8am, “cognizant of the September 18, 2004, deadline for mailing overseas ballots.” Which seems fair enough.]

My head is spinning.

The Florida trial court reinstated its stay. Shortly afterwards, the Florida Court of Appeals had its hearing. The Florida Secretary of State asked the Supreme Court to reinstitute the say.

Meanwhile — hold on to your hat — the “Reform Party” (ie the GOP) counterclaimed in the trial court, arguing the Democrats should be thrown off the ballot because their slate (filed in a timely manner unlike the Republican one) was not, they say, notarized like it should have been.

I hope the Democrats who didn't want to challenge the GOP's late filing are feeling suitably chasened. (Imagine a world in which neither party was on the ballot…that would be even weirder.)

Go to Abstract Appeal for more….I have to go collect my kids from school.

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4 Responses to Nader Case Goes Beyond Weird

  1. Brett Bellmore says:

    Well, DID they get it notorized? WAS it supposed to be notorized?

    Look, as a member of a third party, I’m used to this nonsense. Like Jim Crow laws that were facially neutral, but enforced only against blacks, ballot access laws are facially neutral, but enforced only against third parties. Democrats and Republicans routinely get on the ballot without complying with them, while third parties frequently have to go to court to get ballot access even if they DO comply with the letter of the law. Where the letter of the law even allows for third parties…

    But are you actually going to defend that state of affairs? Defend the notion that ballot access laws should be enforced where, and only where, it is advantageous to the major parties, and not otherwise? Normally even the people who like this lawless status quo at least pretend they want impartial enforcement.

    Again, DID the Democratic party actually satisfy the legal requirements for ballot access?

  2. Actually, as one of the suggested chastened, I’d like to point out my earlier post pointing out that exactly this would happen if we raised a ruckus…apparently that went for Nader, as well as Bush, however…

  3. And by the way, to respond to Brett’s question, the statute at issue is Fl. Stat 103.121, which requires not a notarized, but a “certified” copy to be delivered to the Governor. Now this is a big issue, as in the precedents its this filing that endows a candidate with the right to be on the ballot…the statute in question requires that the governor receive by september 1 a certified list, and Nader’s 8th affirmative defense in his trial court answer suggests that there is no certification of any kind and that the list was delivered to the secretary, not the governor.

    Now admittedly, its an interesting argument, for a complete pile of garbage. First, as to the issue of certification vs. notarization, 103.121 clearly states that “The central committee or other equivalent governing body of each state executive committee shall adopt a rule which governs the time and manner in which the respective county executive committees of such party may endorse, certify, screen, or otherwise recommend one or more candidates for such party’s nomination for election.” Also, check the case law. Its been held, and recently, at least in the 5th, that if the legislature wants a notary’s seal, they’ll say so explicitly. And btw, they do, in 101 different laws.

    As to the issue of delivery to the Governor vs. the Secretary, 103.121(2) does require delivery to the Governor…for electors. Not candidates for president. Presidential electors. There is no connection except in the imagination of some creative counsel between a party’s nomination of its electors and its nomination of its candidates. And if you’re talking about decertifying all the democratically nominated electors, you by statute require the Governor to select presidential electors only from the other party lists. As much as Johnnie Byrd would probably throw a party, I think the Court would speak up on this topic…

    But what bothers me most? Is its not an affirmative defense. Its evidence of someone not understanding the definition of that most underrated of arguments. And because of that mislabeling a reply will most likely now be required, and all sorts of nonsense will ensue. But this still isn’t an affirmative defense. See fla r.c.p. 1.140…

  4. Brett Bellmore says:

    What bothers ME the most, is attempting to compete on the basis of who can be barred from the ballot, instead of who can get the most votes. Put Bush on, put Kerry on, put Badnarik on, put Nader on. Put them ALL on the ballot! Let the voters decide who wins.

    I’ve been through too many campaigns where we had to move mountains to get on the ballot, while the majors only had to file a paper… And got on the ballot even though they forgot to file it. Ballot access is just a scam to deny voters a choice, and that’s as evident as ever in this case, where the fear isn’t a “bedsheet” ballot, but instead that people might actually vote for the candidate they’re trying to keep off it.

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