GOOD THING the REPUBLICAN PARTY of TEXAS READS the “jbjd” BLOG

April 19, 2012

© 2012 jbjd

Thanks to the Republican Party of Texas (“RPT”) I am able to amend some misleading information I posted in the previous article, BALLOT ENTITLEMENT LAWS should DISQUALIFY PRESIDENT OBAMA in TEXAS. How they came to aid in this clarification, is a hoot!

On Wednesday, April 18, at around 5:30 PM EDT, I received a call from kjcanon, in TX. “Are you sitting down?” Needless to say, I was by the time I answered her question.

Seems she had just received a call from Mr. Jesse Lewis, who is the Executive Director of the RPT,  concerning her open records request. (She had listed her telephone number on that request.) According to Mr Lewis, the documents she asked for had already been forwarded to the email address she provided, and he wanted to know why she would claim otherwise. Immediately, she thought back to that complaint she had just filed 2 days earlier with AG Abbott, charging that Steve Munisteri, Chair of the TDP, a public official under the Public Information Act inasmuch as he certifies candidate names to the ballot; had refused to produce public records she requested, which were the basis of his certification. Could that office have possibly followed up so quickly? She asked Mr. Lewis what was the source of his information: “…I saw the JBJD (sic) blog…”

Turns out, the RPT had sent the materials on April 5, to the wrong address and then, seeing my blog, on Tuesday, re-sent the materials, again to the wrong address. Finally, after contacting kjc on Wednesday, they got it right. They also asked her to pass on this information to me, which she did. (They didn’t ask her to withdraw the public information complaint she had filed with AG Abbott but she did that immediately, too.)

Here are those RPT emails.

Notice that 2 documents were attached: one, designated “20120405091443653.pdf,” which contained multiple candidate applications to the ballot; and the other designated “order on party conventions.pdf.” This second attachment leads to the other subject raised by Mr. Lewis, which we will discuss first.

As the result of a settlement recently reached among the parties in the TX redistricting lawsuit, the dates were changed for several key party functions during the primary season, including the voting by party members during the actual primary contest and, the holding of the party state convention, which changes now conflicted with existing state statutes. Consequently, the federal district court ruling on redistricting matters (on remand from the SCOTUS) issued several orders with respect to these new dates, in which all such inconsistencies were addressed. (Four such orders were issued between February 28 and March 1!) Here is a snippet from an Order entered on February 28:

d. Sections 163.00, 191.007, and 191.008, Texas Election Code, are suspended for the
purposes of modfications (sic) to party rules made pursuant to this order.

Mr. Lewis, again obviously referencing the article he had read here on the “jbjd” blog, now informed kjc that, according to item “d” of this redistricting court order; the RPT wasn’t required to submit its rules to the SoS by January 5, the date which appears in the statute, in order to preserve the entitlement of their candidates to appear on the ballot, anyway! He would send along that court order for her reference.

Now, having not yet seen any of the documents to which kjc referred, I could only ‘guess’ at why Mr. Lewis was wrong. I reasoned that, obviously, a rule determining federal qualifications was not impacted by a court order necessitating changes in filing deadlines, which, without the court’s exception, would conflict with existing state laws. Then, I saw the order. The modifying language in section “d” makes clear, the only party rules exempted from the deadlines contained in those specific statutes, are those rules which must be modified pursuant to the changes imposed by the order, on the timetable for events occurring during the course of the primary season.  (Perhaps that’s why the RPT entitled that attachment, “order on party conventions.”) There is also this, from SoS Andrade:

All dates, deadlines or requirements not specifically adjusted by the federal court order remain as required under state or federal law. Calendar of Important Dates for Candidates for the 2012 Primary and General Elections

Before I complete the discussion of the rules, I want to focus on the other attachment which came in the mail, the Presidential candidate applications.  According to Mr. Lewis, the applications “are the only documents used to certify these candidates place on our ballot.” So, we looked for something in the form which confirms that the candidate has established meeting “federal” “qualifications.” Here is the form submitted by Charles “Buddy” Roemer.

Notice that this contains an oath or affirmation from the applicant swearing s/he satisfies the Constitutional requirements for the job.

Now, look at the TDP form submitted by Barack Obama (which also appeared on the previous post.)

No such self-authentication. (Had you already noticed that the application form supplied by the TDP contains no such oath or affirmation?)

Either way, neither the RPT nor the TDP can be said to ‘certify’ a Presidential candidate has met federal qualifications when the only basis for that certification is the candidate’s self-authentication.

Anyway, that was just the beginning of our work. On the RPT form, in the upper left corner, I noticed this blurb: Prescribed by the Republican Party of Texas, Rule #38, 10/2011. So, the RPT ostensibly has a rule with respect to establishing a candidate for President is federally qualified? How did we miss that? We searched through the RPT rules (and the TDP rules) for anything containing the numbers “191” or “192,” the sections of TX statutes dealing with Presidential candidates, and found nothing. Now, we looked at the RPT’s rule 38. Here is the section of that rule relating to the candidates’ applications:

Rule No. 38 – National Convention Delegates and Alternates – Amended February 29, 2012
Section 1. Presidential Primary, Application of Rule

Section 2. Method of Qualifying as Presidential Candidate
a. Filing: Any person eligible to hold the office of President of the United States may qualify to participate as a Presidential candidate in the presidential primary by filing with the State Chairman, not later than 6:00 p.m. the second Monday in December of an odd-numbered year preceding the presidential primary, a signed and acknowledged application for his or her name to be placed on the Presidential Primary ballot, accompanied by a supporting petition signed by a minimum of 300 registered voters of the state from each of a minimum of fifteen (15) Congressional Districts, or the payment of a filing fee of $5,000.

So, yes, both the TDP and the RPT filed ‘rules’ with the SoS by deadlines created either in the statute or through the court order(s). But neither party preserved its entitlement to the ballot by filing a rule that spelled out how it would determine conclusively so as to certify to the Sos; both the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates are federally qualified for the job.

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Freedom costs.


BALLOT ENTITLEMENT LAWS should DISQUALIFY PRESIDENT OBAMA in TEXAS

April 16, 2012

CRITICAL UPDATE 04.18.12, 17:59 EDT

at bottom of post

(CORRECTED 06.25.12)

©2012 jbjd

Under Texas law, by failing to file with Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade the rules adopted by the Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”) to determine that the party’s nominees for President and Vice President are federally qualified for the job; Attorney Boyd Richie, Chair of the TDP, has forfeited the entitlement of the party to have the name of its nominees for those federal offices appear on the 2012 TX ballot. In fact, by failing to provide the candidate qualification rules of the Republican Party of Texas (“RPT”), Attorney Steve Munisteri, Chair of the RPT, has similarly forfeited the entitlement of his party’s nominees for President and Vice President to appear on the 2012 ballot, too.

It’s true; look at the law.

In TX, who determines whether the names of the nominees chosen by a political party, for President and Vice-President of the United States appear on the ballot?

A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for President and Vice President of the United States placed on the ballot in a presidential general election if the nominees possess the qualifications for those offices prescribed by federal law. §192.031 PARTY CANDIDATE’S ENTITLEMENT TO PLACE ON BALLOT

But who determines whether the nominee for President is Constitutionally eligible for the job?

The state chair of each political party holding a Presidential primary election shall certify the name of each Presidential candidate who qualifies for a place on the Presidential primary election ballot and deliver the certification to the Secretary of State. §191.003 NOTICE OF CANDIDATES TO SECRETARY OF STATE

How does the state chair determine whether the candidate has satisfied federal eligibility?

The state executive committee of each political party holding a Presidential primary election shall adopt the rules necessary to implement these laws. §191.008 IMPLEMENTATION BY PARTY

How does the SoS know that the party has adopted these rules necessary to verify the federal qualification of the  Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates submitted to that office?

For a political party to be entitled to have its nominees for President and Vice President of the United States placed on the general election ballot in an election year in which the party is holding a presidential primary election, the rules adopted under this section or the rules already in existence must be filed with the secretary of state not later than January 5 of the Presidential election year. Id.

Now, look at the facts.

In 2008, the SoS received from Mr. Richie the list of candidates the TDP wanted the state to print on the TX primary ballot. Here is Mr. Richie’s cover letter, and only the first page of that candidate submission.

(These 2008 records were obtained from the SoS in 2012 during a series of requests for public information, which was delayed due to court redistricting issues that in turn pushed back the date of the primary to May 29 and, therefore, the deadline for party submissions). (The mandatory retention schedule for such records is 2 years unless the records have been the subject of some kind of challenge. We have no idea why the SoS maintained these records for 4 years, but we are glad she did.)

In the cover letter, Mr. Richie explains he is sending this information to the SoS “in compliance with §172.028(a) of the Texas Election Code.” That section, STATE CHAIR’S CERTIFICATION OF NAMES FOR PLACEMENT ON GENERAL PRIMARY BALLOT, is found under TITLE 10, POLITICAL PARTIES, SUBTITLE B. PARTIES NOMINATING BY PRIMARY ELECTION, CHAPTER 172. PRIMARY ELECTIONS. Then, as you can see; in the page that followed, he listed together both the Presidential candidates and the down-ticket candidates, like U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative.

He shouldn’t have.

Title 10 only applies to party candidates chosen via a primary election. And even though the names of both the Presidential hopefuls and these down-ticket offices appear on the same primary ballot; the party nominees for U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative are chosen directly as the result of the primary contest, whereas the nominees for President and Vice President are not. Rather, these are chosen at the party’s Presidential nominating convention. (This is covered in Title 11, in §191.003.) This means, votes cast for the Presidential candidate during the party primary only count for the purpose of the assignment of pledged delegates who will then vote for that candidate at the party’s national convention.

So, is listing the Presidential candidates, covered under 191.003, on the same form as candidates covered by 172.028(a), as cited in Mr. Richie’s letter, just a legal technicality, in other words, a distinction without a difference? Hardly. Here is the text of 172.028(a): “Except as provided…the state chair shall certify in writing for placement on the general primary election ballot the name of each candidate who files with the chair an application…” In other words, to get on the ballot under this section, a candidate need only submit an application. And no law requires the party to adopt rules to carry out the laws in this section. On the other hand, 191.003, printed above, requires the chair to submit only the names of candidates federally qualified for the job. And 191.008 requires the party to adopt rules to ensure the section’s implementation.

Naturally, just because Mr. Richie wrote down the wrong law didn’t mean, he hadn’t carried out the mandate of the right law by verifying the candidates he submitted to the SoS for the 2008 Presidential preference primary ballot were federally qualified for the job. But we know he didn’t verify whether the Presidential nominee wannabes were federally qualified for the job. We also know that Mr. Munisteri, his counterpart in the RPT, didn’t verify Republican Presidential candidates were federally qualified for the job, too. Because we looked it up. That is, we searched the internal rules of the respective parties for references to 191.003.

TDP Rules, 2006-2008: http://txdems.3cdn.net/b365cb3e72bc521333_pom6vdrl3.pdf

TDP Rules, 2012: http://www.txdemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/2010-2012-TDP-Rules.pdf

RPT Rules, 2008: http://www.1888932-2946.ws/TexasGOP/E-ContentStrategy/userfiles/2008_General_Rules.pdf

RPT Rules, 2011 (Amended for 2012): http://s3.amazonaws.com/texasgop_pre/assets/original/2011RPTRules_Amended.pdf

Lo and behold, we found no such rules. For either party. For the years 2008 – 2012. This means, neither party could possibly have submitted the rules required under 191.003 to the SoS. And, under 192.031, this means neither party is entitled to have the names of its Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees on the general election ballot. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, just because both the TDP and the RPT have lost entitlement to have the names of their nominees for President and Vice President on the general election ballot doesn’t mean that SoS Andrade cannot exercise her discretion to place those names on that ballot or, on the primary ballot, anyway. But she should not. And here’s why.

Notwithstanding neither party promulgated rules as required by law to preserve entitlement for the names of their Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to appear on the ballot; this does not mean, they didn’t somehow verify their candidates had satisfied federal qualifications for the job. So we submitted a request for the production of documents which were the basis for their ballot certification; to the Chairs of both parties, under the TX Public Information Act.

You might recall we attempted to retrieve documents from Mr. Richie and the TDP in 2010. But notwithstanding under the law the documents requested were pubic records; and the parties, as holders of these records, were public officials; those 2010 requests were ignored. TEXAS TWO-STEP. Maybe it was because we hadn’t spelled out in our request the legal framework which supported our rights to the documents requested. In other words, we hadn’t let him know, we know the law. So, this time, we did. (Citizens shouldn’t have to be lawyers to get their public officials to do their jobs, whether these are unelected officers of a private political club merely fulfilling a public function. Especially when those officials are lawyers, too. Id.) 1) §191.003.  NOTICE OF CANDIDATES TO SECRETARY OF STATE. This law established the Chair had a duty to certify the names of the party candidates to the SoS. 2) §192.031.  PARTY CANDIDATE’S ENTITLEMENT TO PLACE ON BALLOT. This restricts entitlement to be on the ballot to only those Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates meeting federal qualifications for the job. 3) §141.035.  APPLICATION AS PUBLIC INFORMATION. This establishes a candidate’s application for a place on the ballot is a public record on filing. 4) §161.004.  PARTY DOCUMENT AS PUBLIC INFORMATION. This states that any document required to be filed by the party is public information. 5. §161.009.  PARTY OFFICER SUBJECT TO MANDAMUS.  This spells out that when a party officer has a duty to act under the election code; the performance of that duty is enforceable by writ of mandamus in the same manner as if the party officer were a public officer.

Here is the Public Information request letter sent to the RPT.
How did the RPT respond to the request? Attorney Munisteri ignored it. (Kelly has already filed a complaint with AG Abbott.)

Presumably, the esteemed Chair of the RPT knows when it comes to submitting names to the TX ballot; he is a public official, required to respond to this request for public information. Because his brother in the law, Attorney Richie, Chair of the TDP, knows. When we sent this letter to him –

he gave us everything we wanted – (CORRECTION 06.24.12: He only appeared to give us what we wanted. Because as Kelly pointed out; this application was missing any language establishing the candidate was Constitutionally eligible for the job; and she had asked for documents which were the basis for his finding the candidates whose names he submitted to the SoS to appear on the ballot were “federally qualified.”) (See WILL TX AG ABBOTT PROSECUTE the TDP for VIOLATING the TX PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT?)

which consisted of nothing more than Mr. Obama’s ballot application. (Under §1.012, PUBLIC INSPECTION OF ELECTION RECORDS, you can view this public record by visiting the offices of the TDP.)

In other words, Mr. Richie put the name of Barack Obama on the TX ballot just because he asked him to. As if he was a down-ticket candidate under 172.028(a).

Wherefore, SoS Andrade should exercise her discretionary authority to keep the RPT candidates for President and Vice President off the ballot; not just because they ignored the law requiring rules adopted for candidate eligibility to be filed with her office but also because they ignored the law requiring production of records used for public elections. She should exercise her discretion to keep the TDP candidates off the ballot because they ignored the law on rules and then swore to the SoS, having filed an application to get on the ballot, the candidate was thereby federally qualified for the job

When it comes to exercising her discretion as to whether to allow the Presidential candidates of either of these parties, Republican or Democrat, to appear on the TX ballot; SoS Andrade should come down on the side of the citizens of Texas, and not the political parties.

(H/T to “jbjd” patron kjcanon for her Herculean assistance researching, editing, and thinking out loud.)

CRITICAL UPDATE 04.18.12, 17:59 EDT: I have just been informed of a change of status with regard to the documents requested from the RPT. The post which will print shortly will explain everything. jbjd

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Freedom costs.


CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (1 of 2)

March 29, 2010

And I am still here, stuck in the middle with you.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a heated comment on S o S.  I was completely responsible for the tirade; but it wasn’t all my fault.  I had just learned that a 2006 legal case out of Texas set the precedent for a successful court challenge which could have  blocked that state from printing the name of Barack Obama on their 2008 primary or general election ballot.  And, adding insult to injury, I discovered that Attorneys Orly Taitz and Gary Kreep knew about this case at the time of Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

Still, re-visiting my convoluted explanation proved, I should not post when I am angry.

Today’s post  provides a calmer and more comprehensive lay explanation of the seminal role that case, Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”) v. Republican Party of Texas (“RPT”) 459 F.3d 582 (2006) could have played before now to correct some of the infirmities we have identified with the process that got the name Barack Obama printed next to the D on the ballot in the 2008 Presidential (Electors) election in Texas; and the role it can still play to forestall these same problems in 2012.  First, a brief history of the case.

TDP v. RPT

When Tom DeLay (R-TX) won the primary in March 2006 to get his name written next to the R on the Texas ballot, again, the chances that in the November election he would lose the seat he had held representing the 22nd District since 1984 seemed little to none.  “But that was before Tony C. Rudy, his former deputy chief of staff, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay’s leadership offices.”  In March 2006, Mr. DeLay announced, he would soon resign from Congress. DeLay to Resign from Congress Now, according to that Washington Post article, “under Texas law he must either die, be convicted of a felony, or move out of his district to be removed from the November ballot.”

Close, but no cigar.

In May, Mr. DeLay sent a letter to Ms. Tina J. Benkiser, Chair of the RPT, advising he had established legal residency in Virginia.  As proof, he provided copies of his VA driver’s license; VA voter registration; and employment withholding form reflecting VA as his residence.  Texas Election Code §145.003(f) allows a party Chair to declare a candidate ineligible.  So, based on Mr. DeLay’s public announcement he would not seek re-election; and the receipt of these VA documents, Ms. Bensiker declared candidate DeLay ineligible to run for Congress.  Under TX law, only the names of eligible candidates may be printed on the ballot. However, before the SoS could remove Mr. DeLay’s name from the TX ballot, Attorney Boyd Richie, elected one month earlier as Chair of the TDP filed suit in state court to halt such action, arguing the RPT had no authority under either Texas state election law or the Qualifications Clause of the U.S. Constitution to determine the winner of the R primary was now ineligible to participate in the November election.  Defendant RPT removed the case to federal district court in Texas, taking advantage of procedural rules that allow cases relying on both state and federal law, to be heard in federal court.

(When a federal court hears a case that is based on both a federal and a state cause of action, the court deliberates on the state issues according to the law in that state.  Thus, in effect, for the purpose of ruling on whether the RPT had violated the TX statute allowing political party Chairs to determine candidate eligibility, the court looked at both the state (TX) law and any state (TX) cases decided under that law, honoring the jurisprudential principle of stare decisis, that is, ruling on subsequent cases consistent with rulings in former cases.  This meant, the ruling issued by the federal district court in Texas based on state (TX) law, could only be used as precedent in subsequent cases heard in Texas, in either state or federal court, involving state (TX) law.  On the other hand, the ruling in federal district court on the issue of the federal Qualifications Clause; could be ported into both federal and state courts in other jurisdictions.)

The federal district court found that the RPT had violated both state (TX) and federal law; ruled it could not determine Mr. DeLay was ineligible; and permanently enjoined the SoS from removing Mr. DeLay’s name from the November ballot.  The RPT appealed; the federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling.  Here is a summary of that decision.

Standing

First, the court found the TDP had standing to bring the case.  It reasoned, if the RPT was allowed to replace Mr. DeLay’s name with the name of another candidate on the ballot; then mounting a new campaign against this new opponent would impose an economic “injury in fact” on the TDP.  This injury was “redressible” and, indeed was redressed by the court through an injunction prohibiting the SoS from removing Mr. DeLay’s name from the ballot.  Also, if the RPT replaced Mr. DeLay with a stronger candidate against the D candidate, the D’s could suffer a real loss of power, another particularized factor in standing.  Plus, the court found the TDP had “associational” standing, meaning, pursuing the case did not require the participation of affected individuals, that is, a specific D candidate disadvantaged by the RPT’s conduct.  The court explained, after the primary, the candidate and the party have identical interests, that is, getting the candidate elected. (The court pointed out, of course, if Nick Lampson, the D candidate for Mr. DeLay’s seat, wanted to bring this case, he had standing to do so, too, based on these same reasons.)

Qualifications Clause

The Constitution requires the candidate for Representative must live in the state at the time of the election.  The court agreed the RPT could not know prospectively whether Mr. DeLay would satisfy this residency requirement.   By determining in May he was not eligible, the court said Ms. Benkiser had unlawfully created a “pre-election inhabitancy requirement” not found in the U.S. Constitution.

Texas Election Law

This is the money holding.  The language here will inform how to bring the case that will prevent the state of Texas from printing the name of Barack Obama on the 2012 Presidential (Electors) ballot.  (Remember, we only elect Electors in the general election; but even the D’s would not steal the election for Barack Obama at the level of the vote of the Electors, in December, when people believe they elected the President in November’s general election.  See NEVER LESS THAN a TREASON (2 of 2).)

Here is the complete section of the court’s decision dealing with the TDP’s charges, the RPT violated TX election law.  (I have omitted all annotations, which can be accessed in the link provided to the appellate case, above.)

Apart from the federal constitutional questions, this case presents a state-law statutory question. For the purposes of this section, we assume arguendo that it would be constitutional for a state actor to make pre-election, prospective judgments about residency and that Benkiser in fact made such a judgment. Even granting those assumptions, the RPT’s declaration of ineligibility would violate Texas law because DeLay’s future residency was not conclusively established by public record.

DeLay’s Future Inhabitancy Was Not “Conclusively Established”

Although the public records relied on by Benkiser may have conclusively established DeLay’s present residency in Virginia, they did not conclusively establish whether he will inhabit Texas on election day. Proof of DeLay’s present residency may suggest where he will be in the future; however, it does not put the matter beyond dispute or question.

Benkiser relied on three public records to declare DeLay ineligible:

1) DeLay’s Virginia driver’s license;

2) DeLay’s Virginia voter registration; and

3) An employment withholding form reflecting DeLay’s Virginia residence.

These documents do not conclusively establish whether DeLay will be an inhabitant of Texas on November 7, 2006. DeLay could be a current resident of Virginia, as the documents above provide, and nonetheless move back to Texas before November 7. Indeed, Benkiser admitted in her testimony that the public records could not prove DeLay’s residency on election day and that DeLay could move back to Texas before election day.

Information that was before Benkiser showing DeLay’s eligibility supports this conclusion. Benkiser had before her DeLay’s original candidacy application, in which he swore that he was eligible for office. In terms of the Qualifications Clause, such a declaration necessarily contained an implicit promise that DeLay would be an inhabitant of Texas on election day. It is also likely that Benkiser knew—because the RPT confirmed his eligibility in prior elections—that DeLay had been an inhabitant of Texas for decades. Under these circumstances, the public records provided by DeLay could not have conclusively established his future residency. Predicting DeLay’s future inhabitancy would have required a finding of fact, which the RPT had no authority to make. See, e.g., In re Jackson, 14 S.W.3d at 848-49.

The RPT argues against this analysis on several grounds, none of which is persuasive. First, relying on the language of the statute (“another public record”), the RPT contends that “one … public record is sufficient for a declaration of ineligibility.” If this is true, the RPT contends, surely three public records are sufficient. This argument ignores § 145.003’s second requirement: that ineligibility must be conclusively established. Put another way, any number of public records may be sufficient only if they meet the “conclusively established” burden. Such is not the case here.

Second, the RPT relies on Nixon v. Slagle, 885 S.W.2d 658, 659 (Tex App.-Tyler 1994, orig. pet.), for the proposition that a prospective candidate’s voter registration form showing residence outside the jurisdiction in question is sufficient to conclusively establish ineligibility. The RPT’s argument ignores a key difference between Nixon and the case at bar. Nixon involved Texas’s state residency qualification for a state senate seat, which required a candidate to be a resident of the relevant district for a year preceding the election. See Tex. Const. art. III, § 6. Therefore, the question in Nixon was the location of the candidate’s current residence for state constitutional purposes, 885 S.W.2d. at 662, not (as here) DeLay’s future inhabitancy for federal constitutional purposes. The latter issue is speculative and cannot be proven conclusively by a voter-registration form showing current residence.

Third, the RPT cites Jones v. Bush, 122 F.Supp.2d 713 (N.D.Tex.2000). Its reliance on that case ignores that Jones did not involve Texas’s state-law “conclusively established” standard. In addition, the RPT’s use of Jones obscures that Jones‘s discussion of inhabitancy was in reference to present, not future, inhabitancy. Jones‘s definition of the term “inhabitant” cannot make the RPT’s effort to predict DeLay’s future any more definitive. Contrary to the RPT’s suggestion, this Court cannot “presume that DeLay will remain an inhabitant of Virginia;” rather, the fact must be conclusively established by public record under Texas law. It is not.

In conclusion, DeLay’s future inhabitancy could not be determined conclusively without a finding of fact. His election-day inhabitancy outside Texas was not beyond dispute or question. Thus, Benkiser violated §145.003 by declaring DeLay ineligible.

In other words, under Texas elections law, if a party Chair can conclusively establish in advance of the day of the election that, based on the record, a Congressional candidate will not satisfy the residency requirement under Article I section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, s/he may determine the candidate is ineligible for office and cause the SoS to remove the name of that candidate from the ballot.  But this advance determination of ineligibility could not be “conclusively established” under the set of facts of this case.  However, establishing Presidential eligibility under the Qualifications Clause in Article II section 1 need not await the day of the election.  After all, a candidate for President cannot acquire the status of “natural born citizen” prospectively or retroactively.

And, while the Chair of the political party is not a fact finder under the law for the purpose of determining whether a candidate is eligible for the office sought; s/he may find ineligibility where this status is conclusively established in the record.

In CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (2 of 2), I construct the legal case that will enable those Plaintiffs with standing in Texas to establish, they have found the fact of the ineligibility of candidate Barack Obama conclusively established in the record.

(to be continued)

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Freedom costs.


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