Monday, July 31, 2006

D-Day on Monday

D-Day for Delay came today.

The fifth Court of Appeals began to hear the case of the run-away cut-and-run candidate Tom DeLay and whether he'll just have to suck it up and run in Texas' 22nd District.

CQ reports that the legal shoot-out in New Orleans will determine "whether Tom DeLay — the former House majority leader who resigned from Congress under a cloud of ethics controversies June 9 — must remain on the ballot this November as the Republican nominee."

A lower court ruling has already said the Republican party cannot replace him; he can withdraw, but no other candidate can run as a Republican.

Texas law sets a rather high bar for replacing a candidate who has already been duly nominated, generally allowing it only if the candidate dies, suffers a debilitating illness or is declared “ineligible.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that questions from the judges do not bode well for GOP arguments on the matter.
A federal appeals panel indicated today that the ability of Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Delay on the ballot rests on whether there was "conclusive" evidence that he had moved to Virginia.
And as Howling Latina earlier wrote two of the three justices who will hear the case were appointed by Democrats.

Judges Pete Benavides and Edith Clement noted that a candidate like DeLay could move back to Texas by election day and be eligible for office. They said the U.S. Constitution would prohibit a state party official from throwing a candidate off the ballot in such circumstances.

"How can it be conclusive if you can always change your voter registration," Clement asked.

Folks, Clements is the Republican appointee; and it gets even better.
At one point, Benavides also quipped: "I lost a campaign for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals when my opponent was in Europe, but he was still a resident of Texas."
Pull up a chair and feel free to drink an icy glass of schadenfreude.

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