The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
December 01, 2004
Ohio | Kerry Campaign Seeks To Join Ohio Recount Fight

The Washington Post reports that on Tuesday the Kerry presidential campaign asked an Ohio judge to allow it to join the legal fight over whether one county can decline to participate in the state’s impending recount:

A pair of third-party presidential candidates, who said that reports of problems at the polls on Election Day are not being addressed, are forcing the Buckeye State to recount its entire presidential vote. But David A. Yost, a lawyer for Delaware County, just outside Columbus, won a temporary restraining order last week blocking any recount there. He told the Columbus Dispatch that a second count would be a poor use of county resources. President Bush won the mostly Republican area handily, unofficial results show.

Lawyers for the Kerry campaign asked to join Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and the National Voting Rights Institute in the fight to force the county to participate in the recount. “If there’s going to be a recount in Ohio, we don’t want it to exclude Delaware County or any other county that might decide to follow Delaware County’s lead,” Kerry lawyer Dan Hoffheimer said. “It should be a full, fair and accurate recount.”

From California Yankee.



Posted by Dan Spencer at December 1, 2004 11:23 PM | TrackBack
Comments

“If there’s going to be a recount in Ohio,” it won’t change a damn thing.

Except maybe to increase people’s hatred of the Democrats.

Posted by: gus3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2004 12:46 PM

Does the term “beating a dead horse” come to mind? For hell’s sake, give it a rest and get on with life!
This whole thing could blow up in their faces. IF, by some miracle, Kerry did get a majority of the votes in Ohio, the Bush campaign would sue for a recount, then sue for a recount in the other 49 states. By the time all the lawsuits are settled it will be 2008 and we can go through this election crap again.
All this is doing is making the Democrats look like idiots.

Posted by: BH57 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2004 03:16 PM

It’s been said before, but Dems really need to MoveOn.

Posted by: Achillea [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2004 05:58 PM

The recount is automatic in Ohio, not any Democratic conspiracy. If you are going to do a recount, you have to do it statewide. Isn’t that what Bush v. Gore stands for (to the extent that it stands for anything other than the raw exercise of politcal power)?

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2004 08:34 PM

(to the extent that it stands for anything other than the raw exercise of politcal power)?

You’re referring to the Florida Supreme Court, right?

:jackson

Posted by: jackson zed [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2004 08:46 PM

The Florida Supreme Court’s decision was in accord with Florida election laws regarding recounts. The U.S. Supreme Court decision halting the recount “so that a cloud would not be cast on George Bush’s claimed victory” was purely political and contrary to every principle governing temporary injunctions. The final opinion rested on the lack of time to complete the recount which the Court itself had stopped. Of course, it couldn’t be completed on time. Like I said, a raw political exercise and one of the worst decisions in the Court’s history.

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 3, 2004 08:39 PM

The Florida Supreme Court’s decision was in accord with Florida election laws regarding recounts.

rdelephant—-please. The Florida Supreme Court set Florida’s election law aside entirely, overruling all manner of Florida circuit courts and court of appeals, all presided over by democratic judges—- and they did it twice. You call that “in accordance with Florida election laws”? Is that anything like burning a village in order to save it?

The only thing SCOTUS did to stop the process in Florida was to telegraph that they weren’t going to set aside FEDERAL election law in order to clear a path for the FSC’s ruling. As such it was hardly political, hardly embarassing, and will likely be regarded by future generations as crucial to the survival of American democracy.

:jackson

Posted by: jackson zed [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 4, 2004 11:43 AM

“The Florida Supreme Court set Florida’s election law aside entirely, overruling all manner of Florida circuit courts and court of appeals, all presided over by democratic judges—- and they did it twice. You call that “in accordance with Florida election laws”? “

There was only one Florida Supreme Court decision which mattered (the one that ordered the recount). It did not overrule any court of appeals (the court of appeals was bypassed pursuant to Florida law). The circuit court judge’s politics is unknown to me. I do know that he purported to rule on the validiity of the vote count without looking at the evidence (the disputed ballots), which is contrary to election laws here and everywhere (so far as I know). Federal election law had nothing to do with the decision. The case was decided on federal constitutional grounds (the equal protection clause). Considering how little you seem to recall about the cases, I will not put much stock in your opinions about their quality or value as precedents for future election law cases (something the Court istelf explained should NOT happen, I wonder why??).

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 4, 2004 02:39 PM

Geez Louise.

There was only one Florida Supreme Court decision which mattered (the one that ordered the recount).

The first ordered Florida Secretary of State to accept amended returns from hand recounts in Gore’s four cherry-picked counties after the deadline prescribed by FL law (which the court threw out and replaced with it’s own arbitrary date), and the second decision ordered hand recounts in most counties. Perhaps the second decision is the only one which mattered for the purposes of throwing the election to Gore, but as a matter of constitutional law (Article II Section 1, “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors…{emphasis added}) both cases are highly significant.

Federal election law had nothing to do with the decision.

Au contraire. US Code Title 3 Section 5 states that any official election returns submitted to Congress prior to six days before the Electoral College is appointed will be given precedence over any returns submitted within the six days.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=3&sec=5

In 2000, the Electoral College was to meet on December 18th making the “safe harbor” deadline December 12th. The FSC’s decision demanding state-wide hand recounts in 64 of Florida’s 67 counties was delivered on 12/8, and oral arguments were heard by SCOTUS on 12/11 which delivered it’s final ruling the next day, the 12th, which was the safe harbor deadline. For any results from such a recount to be considered would require Congress to ignore 3 U.S.C. § 5 or SCOTUS to set it aside. Kennedy, O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas declined to do so as part of any remedy, while seven of the nine—-Breyer, Kennedy, O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, Souter, and Thomas—-voted to reverse based on violations of the equal protection clause.

And the truth is, the FSC’s ruling in Bush v. Gore was fully hallucinatory in it’s requirements. We all saw how long it took four of the richest counties in Florida to do just the partial hand recounts that they did. No one, or at least no one who doesn’t huff spray paint for a living, can possibly believe that the recounts the FSC ordered could have even been completed, much less in a fair or constitutional manner, before Dec. 18th.

Considering how little you seem to recall about the cases, I will not put much stock in your opinions about their quality or value as precedents for future election law cases

Considering how little you seem to have ever known about the cases in the first place, you’ll understand when I don’t put much stock in your opinion of my opinion. =8^]

Don’t get me wrong rd, I know the decisions are (or were) politically controversial, but it is my contention that legally speaking, they’re not very controversial because they’re relatively sound—- but don’t take my word for it. If you’ve never done so, you should read both per curiams and the asociated dissenting and concurring opinions for Bush v. Gore and Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board. They’re all surprisingly brief and accessible.

:jackson

Posted by: jackson zed [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 5, 2004 06:22 PM

I read the decisions when they were entered. Accepting the hand recounts was perfectly in accord with Florida election law, the content of which is not based on simple deadlines for certification in election challenge cases. As I said, the only decision which mattered was the decision to recount all counties where punchcard ballots were used. There is every reason to suspect that a recount could have been completed before December 18. I have always viewed the “equal protection” argument as the only semi-legitimate rationale of the SCOTUS. The federal “safe harbor” provision was plainly none of the Court’s business.

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 5, 2004 06:48 PM

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