Justice John Paul Stevens took Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s case to the full Supreme Court. The Court sided with Brunner. The temporary restraining order on the early-voting program has been overturned, and Sec. Brunner is not required to check hundreds of thousands of questionable registration forms against state motor vehicle or Social Security databases.
No word as to the Court’s reasoning yet; I’m guessing it’s because they thought there wasn’t time, and the complainants took too long to file their grievance. Sec. Brunner still has yet to explain why she initiated a program that’s a magnet for fraud, and barred election observers from monitoring the registration. Peter Bronson said three weeks ago, “If Ohio polling looks like Chicago, thank Brunner.” The article details Brunner’s long history of stacking the deck of Ohio elections in favor of Democrats since taking office.
Ohio’s early voting program is shut down again, in another blow to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Unless she takes the matter to the Supreme Court, she will need to stop stonewalling the Ohio GOP in their efforts to screen out fake voters.
Last week a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking Ohio’s early-voting program spearheaded by Sec. Brunner. The program allowed people to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day; Ohio Republicans (Brunner is a Democrat) complained that the program did not allow for sufficient oversight to prevent fraudulent registrations and votes, and the federal judge agreed.
Brunner appealed to the Sixth Circuit, where a three-judge panel called for the TRO to be reversed (and strangely broke with protocol by releasing their ruling before the full court heard the case, to which at least one judge took vocal exception). The full court overruled the panel and upheld the order yesterday, ordering the SecState to implement tighter controls on the program before reinstating it, including providing access to motor vehicle databases to match against new registrants.
ELB mentions that there is still time for Sec. Brunner to appeal to SCOTUS, and that Justice Stevens has rejected such an appeal before but that came on the eve of the election in 2004 and there simply was not time to hear it. With three weeks left, Brunner could still ask the court to reverse the TRO. However, existing case law (ELB cites Purcell) leans in the direction of deference to the federal court on these matters, and there are many underlying issues in this particular case that complicate matters considerably, so the odds that SCOTUS would hear such an appeal are not exactly bankable.
Columbus-based think tank The Buckeye Institute has filed suit in Warren County’s Court of Common Pleas. The suit is brought on behalf of two voters claiming that ACORN’s fraudulent voter registration methods have a diluting effect on their votes and those of others, and that the signature-collection methods are set up in such a way that fits the legal definition of a corrupt organization under the RICO statute. Here is the full complaint.
My guess? This suit represents the first crack in the dam. It won’t be the last complaint of its kind; it will spread to other counties and states, and the legal mud-wrestling will last long after the election.
Incidentally, on the top page of the complaint you might notice that ACORN is named as codefendant with Project Vote, the political arm of ACORN which Barack Obama ran while a practicing attorney. But don’t let anybody ever tell you that Obama has any direct connection to ACORN or its voter registration tactics…Fight the Smears!
Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) may experience a brief, long-overdue spasm of accountability.
During a press conference in 2006, Rep. Murtha accused eight U.S. Marines of murder committed during a firefight in Haditha following an IED explosion. No trials or even official investigation had yet taken place; Murtha drew his conclusions in part from a sensational article in TIME magazine:
“[T]here was no firefight, there was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
More than two years later, however, Murtha’s mouth may be catching up with him. Now that nearly all of the accused Marines have been either granted dismissals or acquitted, one of the exonerated Marines, LCpl. Justin Sharratt, has filed suit against Murtha for slander, and the suit is going forward.