Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ode To The Courts - Part 1

In this age of Republican dominance of all elective branches of our government (and the great lengths to which they'll go to maintain that dominance), I am constantly reminded of the importance of the courts in providing the checks and balances to that power.

In the latest egregious attempt at a Republican power grab, Rodney Alexander, Democratic Congressman from Louisiana, after months of flirting with switching parties (and after assuring the Louisiana Democratic leadership that he wouldn't) did so 15 minutes prior to the closing of the ballot on August 6, preventing Democrats from fielding a strong replacement. He returned money to donors who thought they were contributing to a Democrat and Democrats filed suit trying to remove him from the ballot.

The judge's ruling? According to Reuters:

District Court Judge Allen Edwards ruled that Rep. Rodney Alexander sought to manipulate the ballot system when he switched his affiliation from Democrat to Republican shortly before the sign-up period ended on Aug. 6.

[He] ordered state officials to reopen the ballot in a U.S. congressional race and allow new candidates to enter because of a last minute party switch by the district's incumbent.


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