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GOP asks Supreme Court to decide NJ ballot issue - GOP lawyers warn of election-year shenanigans
The Dallas Morning News ^ | October 4, 2002 | By DAVID JACKSON / The Dallas Morning News

Posted on 10/04/2002 2:33:20 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP


GOP asks Supreme Court to decide NJ ballot issue

Just like 2000, justices could affect course of national politics

10/04/2002

By DAVID JACKSON / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON - Once again, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have the future of national politics in their hands.

Rather than the presidency, control of the U.S. Senate could wind up on the high court docket this time.

Republicans on Thursday asked the justices to intervene in a New Jersey ballot dispute, saying the state Supreme Court acted illegally when it allowed a last-minute replacement candidate for Sen. Robert Torricelli.

Mr. Torricelli bowed out of the race Monday amid ethics problems, and Democrats moved quickly to place former Sen. Frank Lautenberg on the ballot.

*
Douglas Forrester

Mr. Lautenberg's late entry is considered a threat to Republican nominee Douglas Forrester, who had led Mr. Torricelli in the polls before he dropped out the race.

Legal analysts said they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fray but added that this same group decided the 2000 presidential race with a ruling that will be debated for as long as elections are held.

"There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case," said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school. "But I said the same thing about Bush vs. Gore, so what do I know?"

But there are key differences, analysts said.

That 2000 case revolved around disputed Florida votes that affected a national office, the presidency; the New Jersey battle affects only the residents of the state and involves access to the ballot before Election Day.

Yet both the legal case and the political race could well have national impact: control of the Senate, which now belongs to Democrats by one seat.

When Mr. Torricelli ended his campaign, he said he didn't want his potential loss to tip the balance of the Senate.

*
AP
Former Sen. Frank Lautenberg (right) met with Democrats at the Capitol on Thursday, including Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (left) and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.

While state law prohibits ballot changes this close to an election, Democrats went to court to substitute the name of Mr. Lautenberg, arguing that New Jersey voters deserve a choice for their senator.

They won Wednesday, bringing cheers from Democrats nationwide.

"The New Jersey State Supreme Court wants to ensure that the voters there have a choice, and they will certainly have a great choice," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., whose title may be hanging in the balance.

Republicans denounced the decision as a mockery of election laws.

"You know, we don't think they should try to change the rules of the game at the end of the game," said Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., eager to regain his majority status. "We don't think that they should violate the law in the state."

So the Republican Party has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to again get involved in a high-profile political case.

It was less than two years ago that the justices, in a 5-4 ruling with notably angry dissents, halted recounts in the state of Florida, effectively awarding the presidency to George W. Bush.

Legal analysts doubted the court would dip its toe back into political waters.

"The odds are no," said Jan Baran, a Washington attorney who specializes in election law. "The court takes about 70 to 80 cases a year out of 7,000. But what we learned from our Florida experience is that election cases can beat the odds."

In asking the federal Supreme Court to step in, Republicans argued that the state ruling is unfair to overseas voters who are starting to receive absentee ballots. GOP lawyers also warned of election-year shenanigans across the country should the New Jersey court's ruling stand.

"Political parties will be encouraged to withdraw losing candidates on the eve of election, replacing them with candidates who have not gone through the rigors of the nominating process in hopes of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat," said the filing.

Democrats noted that former Gov. Christie Whitman, a Republican, appointed six of the seven New Jersey justices who made the ruling.

But Ms. Whitman, now director of the Environmental Protection Agency, didn't give the court's handiwork a strong review.

"This shows that even very bright people can make serious mistakes," she said. "This really fuels the cynicism people have about our electoral system, and it's a shame."

Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the College of William & Mary, cited a GOP argument that the New Jersey Supreme Court usurped the Legislature's right to set elections, but doubted a federal court would resolve that dispute.

Analysts said the New Jersey Supreme Court is entitled to be the final arbiter of New Jersey law, and they doubted the U.S. Supreme Court would take up the matter - if only because of the criticism it took two years ago.

"With all the heat they took over Bush vs. Gore, I'm skeptical they would do it again," said Mr. Askin, the Rutgers law professor. "But it's certainly possible."

E-mail djackson@dallasnews.com


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/nation/stories/100402dnnatnj.afa6d.html


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: benchlegislatingct; democratcrooks; dirtytricks; electionstealing; newjersey; njsenaterace; sconj; scotus
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It seems clear to me that SCONJ ignored the law and made up their own. The 51 day provision was written to prevent a losing candidate from withdrawing late in the race and inserting another candidate. The Democrats chose their candidate and if he's behind in the polls, then they should sleep in the bed that they made. That how it works. Choose your man, we'll choose ours and the voters decide.

I can't imagine that SCOTUS wouldn't take this on.

1 posted on 10/04/2002 2:33:21 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
Don't want the quitters to win? Check this out...
(Dial up users, be patient)

http://michaeldavisoncpa.tripod.com/index.html

2 posted on 10/04/2002 2:37:00 AM PDT by zencycler
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To: Snow Bunny; Alamo-Girl; onyx; Republican Wildcat; Howlin; Fred Mertz; dixiechick2000; SusanUSA; ...
GOP asks Supreme Court to decide NJ ballot issue -
GOP lawyers warn of election-year shenanigans

Excerpt:

"There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case," said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school. "But I said the same thing about Bush vs. Gore, so what do I know?"

But there are key differences, analysts said.

That 2000 case revolved around disputed Florida votes that affected a national office, the presidency; the New Jersey battle affects only the residents of the state and involves access to the ballot before Election Day.

Yet both the legal case and the political race could well have national impact: control of the Senate, which now belongs to Democrats by one seat.

When Mr. Torricelli ended his campaign, he said he didn't want his potential loss to tip the balance of the Senate.

< snip >

Republicans denounced the decision as a mockery of election laws.

"You know, we don't think they should try to change the rules of the game at the end of the game," said Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., eager to regain his majority status. "We don't think that they should violate the law in the state."



Please let me know if you want ON or OFF my General Interest ping list!. . .don't be shy.

3 posted on 10/04/2002 2:38:16 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
I think Antonin Scalia would definitely say there's a federal issue here, namely where a state Supreme Court can override a decision left to the state legislature. The U.S Constitution says no. And I think the SCOTUS would definitely take the New Jersey Supremes out to the woodshed and tell them the hell to get it right.
4 posted on 10/04/2002 2:39:16 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: zencycler
Wow, that is great !! Thanks.
5 posted on 10/04/2002 2:40:44 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
"so what do I know?"

Well you should know this: Truth can be clouded by wishful thinking.

6 posted on 10/04/2002 3:16:18 AM PDT by Savage Beast
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To: goldstategop
Late last night FOX news said that the United State Supreme Court asked the democrats to respond to the Republican petition. Any info?
7 posted on 10/04/2002 3:23:33 AM PDT by Greeklawyer
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To: MeeknMing
It was less than two years ago that the justices, in a 5-4 ruling with notably angry dissents, halted recounts in the state of Florida, effectively awarding the presidency to George W. Bush.

Well, now they just lie and re-write history. SCOTUS voted 7-2 to halt the mish-mash, seat-of-the-pants, let's try one more time to steal the election recounts. They voted 5-4 on whether there was time for the Fla. SC to do it over.
8 posted on 10/04/2002 3:24:44 AM PDT by self_evident
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To: MeeknMing
I can't imagine that SCOTUS wouldn't take this on.

This seems like some kind of bad dream though. The Dims WILL nationalize this if SCOTUS steps in. It's about all they have left to get out their base. A bad, bad dream.
9 posted on 10/04/2002 3:28:01 AM PDT by self_evident
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To: self_evident
Sure they'll get Alan Derhowitz and the liberal law school professoriate to howl how partisan it all would be - SCOTUS intervention that is.
10 posted on 10/04/2002 3:32:31 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: MeeknMing
I don't think SCOTUS will take this on either. Although I think Forrester can win, Americans won't really understand what has happened in NJ unless a Republican does it. Let Forrester take his name off the ballot and the GOP install someone with a known "name" - i.e., Rudy G. What can the DNC going to do about it?
11 posted on 10/04/2002 3:34:12 AM PDT by Peach
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To: MeeknMing
Another Freeper, Concerned about Politics, on a thread last night reminded us that after 9/11, when there was much talk about extending Mayor Gulliani's (sp?) term for six months, Hillary inserted herself into the equation. She responded to a reporter's question about Rudy extending his term with this comment (paraphrase): "We can't let one man change the rules and extend a term; what would we do if everyone did it". This during a time of national emergency!
12 posted on 10/04/2002 3:36:16 AM PDT by Peach
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To: MeeknMing
There is absolutely no federal question involved, *

*WRONG!:

1. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act
42 U.S. Code 1973ff

See also Federal Voting Assistance Program

13 posted on 10/04/2002 3:53:45 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: MeeknMing
By they way---I wasn't addressing you Meek--I was addressing that Rutger's "professor of law."
14 posted on 10/04/2002 3:55:52 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: MeeknMing
the New Jersey battle affects only the residents of the state

Huh? A Senator's vote in the senate only affects his state? This is just an election for state office?.... NOT.

Shennanigans like this have a tremendous federal impact.

15 posted on 10/04/2002 4:35:12 AM PDT by Tom Bombadil
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To: MeeknMing
There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case," said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school. "But I said the same thing about Bush vs. Gore, so what do I know?"

Exactly. FReepers see the Constitutional issue here, but the professor does not.

16 posted on 10/04/2002 4:45:21 AM PDT by copycat
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To: MeeknMing
Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the College of William & Mary, cited a GOP argument that the New Jersey Supreme Court usurped the Legislature's right to set elections, but doubted a federal court would resolve that dispute.

Academics all over the country are trying to throw cold water on this and discourage the SCOTUS from getting involved. But what's the bigger horror, that SCOTUS would force a state to follow the Constitution's Article I, Section 4, or that ballots all over the country are now subject to judicial review and "the right of the people to have a competitive election."

17 posted on 10/04/2002 4:48:00 AM PDT by copycat
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To: Tom Bombadil
Just because ANY office is a state elected office does not preclude federal intervention. Federal courts decide jerrymandering of redistricting all the time. Anyone who says there is no place for a federal decision is only disinformation. The may CHOOSE not to take the case for any UNSTATED reason as they do with the vast majority of cases. The USSC is picky about cases because they are generally looking for clear examples BUT that is not written in stone. They should take the case, this WILL affect the entire election system across the nation.
18 posted on 10/04/2002 4:49:16 AM PDT by Greeklawyer
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To: MeeknMing
"There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case,"

said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school.

To which I say B. S.! There are PLENTY of federal issues here. Beyond that, the justices of the USSC are human beings and anyone who thinks that they are going sit idly by and allow these idiots to blatantly IGNORE a ruling made by them less than two years ago has a SCREW LOOSE IMHO!

19 posted on 10/04/2002 4:50:34 AM PDT by Bigun
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To: MeeknMing
Gov. Christie Whitman, a Republican, appointed six of the seven New Jersey justices who made the ruling.

And here is the genesis of the problem: Republicans appointing Democrat Judges (probably to appease the Democrats). Democrats NEVER appoint Republican Judges!

Ms. Whitman, now director of the Environmental Protection Agency … … still out there doing who-knows-what.

20 posted on 10/04/2002 4:52:48 AM PDT by bimbo
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To: MeeknMing
Best advice to the Forrester camp - if difficult to give - is to act as graciously as possible about a situation they cannot change, shake their collective heads at the underhandedness and chicanery of NJ Democrats, and run a positive, upbeat campaign totally ignoring Lautenberg. Best slogan would be something along the lines of "Vote Forrester - For the Future" (i.e., Lautenberg/Toricelli is the past).
21 posted on 10/04/2002 4:54:09 AM PDT by catch
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To: Greeklawyer
They may CHOOSE not to take the case for any UNSTATED reason as they do with the vast majority of cases.

This case will be taken up. Only 4 judges need to vote YEA. Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, and O'Connor, who was the most obviously miffed during Bush v Gore, will vote in the affimative.

22 posted on 10/04/2002 4:56:20 AM PDT by copycat
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To: MeeknMing
Analysts said the New Jersey Supreme Court is entitled to be the final arbiter of New Jersey law . . .

This position, held by Leftists of all stripes, essentially voids the Constitution. Those who take an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies must consider Leftists their enemies in all cases.

23 posted on 10/04/2002 5:04:23 AM PDT by PhilipFreneau
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To: copycat
Do you know if there is any truth to the FNC report that the USSC asked the Dems for a written response to the Rep. petition?
24 posted on 10/04/2002 5:05:38 AM PDT by Greeklawyer
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To: MeeknMing
Democrats noted that former Gov. Christie Whitman, a Republican, appointed six of the seven New Jersey justices who made the ruling.

But Ms. Whitman, now director of the Environmental Protection Agency, didn't give the court's handiwork a strong review.

"This shows that even very bright people can make serious mistakes," she said.

Or, since the NJ Supreme Court is made up of four Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent, perhaps this shows that Christine Todd Whitman is not a very bright person.



25 posted on 10/04/2002 5:08:38 AM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: MeeknMing
Pretty Bad, when a Dallas paper has to get ahold of some left wing A$$hole law professor that obviously does not comprehend the US Constitutions provisions about The legislature making Election Law and not the court.

It is a pretty Shallow and Facile analysis to yell Bush v. Gore, and not realise that this goes to the bery eart of the Concurrance, which had 3 signers, and this is a far more egregious case. In FLA, there was wiggle room, because the law ALLOWED for manual recounts. The law does not allow the replacement at this late date.

26 posted on 10/04/2002 5:08:53 AM PDT by hobbes1
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To: Tom Bombadil
the New Jersey battle affects only the residents of the state

Oh please. It's quite obvious the Demilibs knew this was where they were going to lose their on seat majority lead in the Senate. This most certainly is a national level concern and it stinks from McGreedy all the way up to The Midget.

27 posted on 10/04/2002 5:14:41 AM PDT by RepubMommy
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To: MeeknMing
WRITE IN is always available for the Jersyites so this CHOICE is all BS anyway
28 posted on 10/04/2002 5:23:11 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: Greeklawyer
There was a long thread on the FNC
report, last night, discussing what
it portends for whether SCOTUS will
take the case. Not a soul doubted
the truth of it, that's all I can
tell you. ALL the talk was that it
shows SCOTUS didn't reject the case
"out of hand".

FWIW, it makes NO sense that FNC is
going to say they did, if untrue.
29 posted on 10/04/2002 5:27:00 AM PDT by txrangerette
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To: Greeklawyer
I know you didn't address me, but pardon me for interjecting.

There was a report on FNC that Ashcroft had asked the NJSC to answer why they disregarded the federal statues regarding military ballots (the 35 day rule). I didn't see the report about the SCOTUS asking the Dems to respond.

30 posted on 10/04/2002 5:32:59 AM PDT by randita
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To: MeeknMing
I know this is a little off topic, but I notice this all the time.

You can see how subtly the Dallas News shows thier bias. The picture of Mr. Forrester show him scowling and almost mean looking. While the picture of Lautenburg and his cronies are all laughing it up and sort of makes you feel good.


Typical...
31 posted on 10/04/2002 5:34:33 AM PDT by SC_Republican
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To: catch
Best advice to the Forrester camp - if difficult to give - is to act as graciously as possible about a situation they cannot change, shake their collective heads at the underhandedness and chicanery of NJ Democrats, and run a positive, upbeat campaign totally ignoring Lautenberg. Best slogan would be something along the lines of "Vote Forrester - For the Future" (i.e., Lautenberg/Toricelli is the past).

Agreed! Let others bring the challenge, Forrester's best strategy is to be the happy warrior. "You wanna change the rules on me? Fine! I'll beat you anyway. Torrecelli last week, Lautenberg this week, and if you send out another guy next week, I'll beat him too. It just goes to show: one Republican is worth two Democrats."

32 posted on 10/04/2002 5:37:30 AM PDT by PMCarey
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To: MeeknMing

"There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case," said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school. "But I said the same thing about Bush vs. Gore, so what do I know?"

Well, you certainly don't know the rule of law. It's yahoos like you, on their self-proclaimed pedestals that think whim-of-the-day opinion rules.

33 posted on 10/04/2002 5:54:58 AM PDT by Zon
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To: goldstategop
Seems like a no-brainer to me. Do you suppose that SCOTUS will take the
case? They sure ought to.
34 posted on 10/04/2002 6:25:37 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: self_evident
Yep! You're right. The media refuse to make an honest presentation of the facts.
It was 7-2.
35 posted on 10/04/2002 6:27:05 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Peach
.....Let Forrester take his name off the ballot and the GOP install someone with a known "name" - i.e., Rudy G. What can the DNC going to do about it?

You know what? I've been wondering what the DIMocRATS would say/do if someone in the GOP decided "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" myself. I would imagine that they would scream their heads off and not even consider how hypocritical that would be. The DIMocRATic Party is the party of the Ethically Challenged.

In any case, I hope that SCOTUS does the right thing and pitches this in the dumper.

36 posted on 10/04/2002 6:33:05 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
Yes they will. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something from the SCOTUS by today's end.
37 posted on 10/04/2002 6:34:27 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: Peach
Yep. The DIMocRATS are hypocrits AND ethically challenged.
38 posted on 10/04/2002 6:35:08 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: goldstategop
Yes they will. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something from the SCOTUS by today's end.

....crosses fingers.

39 posted on 10/04/2002 6:36:26 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: SkyPilot
By they way---I wasn't addressing you Meek--I was addressing that Rutger's "professor of law."

I understood that.

You're right. This is another attempt to disenfranchise military voters, who vote predominately GOP.

40 posted on 10/04/2002 6:39:30 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
I'm hoping the SCOTUS will take the case but think it's doubtful. Public relations and all that. The next best thing - at LEAST threaten to take Forrester off the ballot and replace with Rudy. That would wake up even the Democrat voters to what's going on here. Otherwise, the sheeple just don't get it.
41 posted on 10/04/2002 6:40:13 AM PDT by Peach
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To: SC_Republican
they did the same subliminal photo manuvers with Bush Sr. The famouse one is where the had Bush Sr. Standing next to Marine One and there was a sign that said keep away with an arrow. The arrow was pointing to Bush Sr. (it was a safety sign for the back rotor)

It is just a group think of evil.
42 posted on 10/04/2002 6:44:03 AM PDT by Greeklawyer
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To: Sabertooth
Or, since the NJ Supreme Court is made up of four Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent, perhaps this shows that Christine Todd Whitman is not a very bright person.

heh heh. I knew someone was bound to bring that up. What do you think, Saber? Will SCOTUS take this on?

43 posted on 10/04/2002 6:47:34 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
"....party of the Ethically Challenged. ..."

Dems are not ethically challenged because they follow the letter of the ethics rules. There is no controlling legal authority to the contrary.

Morally however, they do not care. Since they have moral relativism. This is why the are consistently inconsistent. (Hawaii vs NJ vs Penn.) The dems. parse words. An nitpick definitions of what "is" is. The only mission and sole goal is aquisition of power and excluding others from doing the same. They are not enlighted to any higher purpose other than personal power over others.
44 posted on 10/04/2002 6:48:51 AM PDT by Greeklawyer
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To: MeeknMing
If this was a state senate seat in question I could see it would be no case for the USSC, however this is for a Federal seat. Also, the case for the military members, who serve the Federal gov't, is icing on the cake! Also if this mentally carries on to other states then it needs to be stopped immediately! However that being said, I'd rather see the Democrats trumped so bad on Nov. 5th that they wouldn't dream of doing this again!
45 posted on 10/04/2002 6:50:03 AM PDT by Alissa
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To: SC_Republican
Good eye. Another example of subtle media bias.
46 posted on 10/04/2002 6:52:34 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
"There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case," said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school.

The good professor should take another look at the law of the land. The Constitution clearly states that, for elections of federal offices, the state legislatures (not the judiciary) make the rules.

If the "Torch" quits after the legislatively-determined deadline, for a reason other than that specified, it is tantamount to him conceding the election. His opponent wins.

47 posted on 10/04/2002 7:18:33 AM PDT by nightdriver
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To: MeeknMing
"This shows that even very bright people can make serious mistakes," said Chrissy Whitman

No, this proves for all the world that you're dumb as a post, Chrissy!

48 posted on 10/04/2002 7:22:55 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: MeeknMing
"There is absolutely no federal question involved, and there's absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case," said Frank Askin, professor at Rutgers University/Newark law school. "But I said the same thing about Bush vs. Gore, so what do I know?"

You know absolutely nothing. You would think a Law Professor would have a copy of the US Constution handy so he could see this is a federal question. The US Constution empowers the State Legislature with the right to make the rules governing the election. Until the Legislature gives that power to the NJ Court, the NJ Court has no power to change this rules on some whim. And the last time I checked, how the US Constitution is intrepreted (or ignored in the case) is a federal issue.

49 posted on 10/04/2002 7:23:09 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: self_evident
The Dims WILL nationalize this if SCOTUS steps in.

This is not a "nationalizable" issue.

Nobody in California is going to change their vote because of what the NJ Supreme Court did. I wish they would but they won't. Same goes for the US Supreme Court. It can affect the NJ race but it won't affect anything else.

If the Supremes reverse then of course the media will spin and spin but the net result will be zippo.

50 posted on 10/04/2002 7:34:26 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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