There’s crazy, and then there’s Kansas crazy

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If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve.” – abbreviated Sherman Pledge, William Tecumseh Sherman

DorothyThe Tea-Publicans in Kansas are desperate to try to save Sen. Pat Roberts from almost certain defeat. Today’s hyper-partisan act of desperation makes it all the more certain that Kansans will punish Tea-Publicans this November.

David Orel, a registered Democrat whose son, Alexander Orel, works as a regional field director in the Kansas City area for Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign, filed a new lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court of Kansas requesting the court to compel the Democratic Party of Kansas to nominate a candidate for U.S. Senate, after the court approved the withdrawal of its nominee Chad Taylor from the ballot this week.

Stop to savor this for a moment. The Tea-Publican Party of Kansas is asking the Supreme Court of Kansas to compel the Democratic Party of Kansas to nominate a replacement candidate. One political party dictating to another political party what they must do, because authoritarian Tea-Publicans believe they are possessed of a divine right to do so.

The U.S. Constitution says otherwise. The First Amendment right of association applies to political parties as private associations. (It is the legal basis for the Arizona Republican Party seeking to close its party primary to independents).  The court cannot compel a political party to nominate a candidate at the insistence of an opposition political party. To require a political party to pick a candidate when it does not want to violates the First Amendment right of association of a political party.

(You should be aware that there are a number of races on the ballot in Kansas right now where the Democrats and the Tea-Publicans chose not to field a candidate).

Even if the court were to accept this anti-democratic and authoritarian notion of Tea-Publicans that they possess a previously heretofore unknown divine right to compel an opposition political party to nominate a replacement candidate, there is the Sherman Pledge: “If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve.” The Court is powerless compel an individual to be a candidate for political office against his or her will.

The basis of the complaint rests on a Kansas statute which says that “when a candidate withdraws the party shall name a replacement.” But “shall” is not always a mandatory duty of “must.” When read in the context of the full statutory scheme, “shall” means “may” — it is a discretionary duty. Geezus, first year law school students learn the difference between discretionary and ministerial acts.

There is also the matter of the state of Kansas, through Kris Kobach, misrepresenting statements of fact to the court on the deadline for printing overseas ballots under the federal MOVE Act, which protects the ability of military and overseas voters to get their ballot on time.  Kobach represented to the court in his arguments that his deadline was this Saturday. After the court ruled against him, Kobach immediately announced that he was extending the deadline by 8 days to give the Democrats time to nominate a replacement candidate (actually to afford time for the filing of this frivolous lawsuit).

The Supreme Court of Kansas should pursue  an ethics complaint against Kris Koback for his violation of the Rules of Professional Practice regarding candor to the tribunal, and impose contempt of court sanctions against him.

The Supreme Court of Kansas should make short shrift of this frivolous, hyper-partisan lawsuit. The voters of Kansas should finally come to their senses and turn out of office Sen. Roberts, Gov. Brownback, and Secretary of State Kobach.

UPDATE: Kris Kobach must be concerned about court sanctions. He has come up with a Plan “B.” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says about 500 voters living overseas will be told they may have to re-vote in the U.S. Senate race after ballots are mailed to them Saturday. Kobach to add disclaimer to Kansas Senate ballots:

The ballots will have no Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race after the Kansas Supreme Court ordered Kobach to honor nominee Chad Taylor’s request to remove his name.

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The ballots going out Saturday will come with a disclaimer saying a new ballot will come later if Democrats pick a new candidate.

 This guy just makes up his own rules on the fly.