Saturday, March 12, 2005

New Law on Deciding State Elections

Among other things that happened during the second half of this week ... The state House and Senate, along party-line votes, gave final approval to a new law giving themselves the right to decide contested state-wide elections. The Guv signed the law. June Atkinson, the front-runner in the still undecided state-wide Superintendent of Public Instruction race wasted no time filing a petition with the state legislature, asking it to declare her the winner.

"Under the law, the legislature would form a 10-member panel to hear the claims of both sides in the disputed election, then make recommendations. The legislature would then meet in a joint session to choose a winner."

Here's the part we like best, considering how the state's all-Republican Supreme Court stuck its collective nose into this race and disfranchised some 11,000 votes: "A loser in the General Assembly vote could not appeal to the courts. Once a candidate asks the legislature to decide the race, any court challenges would be terminated."

The Democrats in the state legislature say they have every right to make this law retroactive to apply to the election just past. Meanwhile, the Supremes are no doubt stewing. Will they want to continue the confrontation?

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