June 20, 2006
Twenty days

Greg notes that the twenty-day period in which Governor Perry has to call an emergency special election to fill a Congressional vacancy is ticking away with no indication that one will be called. He wonders if there may be some extra risk associated with that position now that there's a lawsuit that could slow down the replacement selection process. Be sure to read through the comments on that post - my thanks to Greg and Ken for the fine discussion.

Speaking of the lawsuit, Federal Judge Sam Sparks has set a hearing date of Monday, June 26.

Judge Sam Sparks left in place a temporary restraining order that expires Thursday, though he did not extend it. Sparks is expected to hear evidence and lawyers' arguments at the hearing.

Democrats went to court earlier this month to prevent the state Republican Party from replacing DeLay on the ballot. A state district judge blocked the process with the temporary order. Attorneys for the Republicans then had the case moved to federal court.

Though Republicans plan to initiate steps to fill the GOP vacancy on the ballot once the temporary order expires, the process wouldn't be complete by the time of the court hearing, said GOP lawyer Jim Bopp.

I guess that's good news for the Republicans, since at least they can get started. I'm not sure what it means for the suit itself. I've put a statement from the Texas Democratic Party beneath the fold.

Meanwhile, here is what DeLay has been doing with his free time. Perhaps someone should have bought him a US Atlas as a going-away present. The candidate he shilled for lost, by the way.

[Yesterday], Federal Judge Sam Sparks set a hearing date for June 26, 2006, to hear arguments in the Preliminary Injunction Hearing regarding the pending lawsuit filed by the Texas Democratic Party to prevent the Republican Party of Texas from improperly replacing Tom DeLay on the ballot. Judge Sparks refused to quash the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued in State Court against the Republican Party of Texas, meaning the TRO remains in effect through June 22, 2006. This TRO prevents the Republican Party of Texas from finalizing the back door deal they made with Tom DeLay to allow his replacement on the ballot to be hand picked by a handful of party officials after a sham primary.

"Today's ruling advances our important effort to end the political sham set up by Tom DeLay and the Republican Party of Texas," said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie. "Whether this petition is heard in State Court or Federal Court, the merits of this petition remain the same. The Republican Party cannot conclusively establish from any record, either today, tomorrow, or in October, that Tom DeLay will not be an inhabitant of Texas on Election Day," Richie added.

Under the U. S. Constitution, eligibility for Congress is established when a person is determined to be an inhabitant of the state on Election Day, not by state residency requirements. When Tom DeLay filed for office, he swore that he would be an inhabitant of Texas on Election Day. The Republican Party of Texas cannot prove from any public record that Tom DeLay will not be an inhabitant of Texas on Election Day.

"The Texas Democratic Party is acting to protect the voting rights of all Texans. If Tom DeLay and the Republicans are successful, they will have established a precedent allowing Party leaders to arbitrarily swap out candidates whenever their nominee looks like a loser," said Richie. "As a matter of principle, we cannot allow Tom DeLay to fake a primary campaign and trample on our electoral process any longer."

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 20, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack