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It sucks but it’s the right call

Over at Knoxviews, rikki has some choice words for the Tennessee Supreme Court regarding their recent term limits:

Somebody needs to make sure these Justices understand what a mess they’ve made. State law forbids amending a ballot within 40 days of an election. The Supreme Court did just that, in effect. How do you sue the State Supreme Court for violating state election law?

Are arbitrary dates and deadlines and procedural niceties really more important than the right of every Knox Co citizen to participate in a coherent election in which their vote actually counts for something? The courts keep saying yes. I disrespectfully disagree. Contemptuously, even.

My thoughts about the ruling are that, sure, it’s a pain in the ass, it’s inconvenient and a lot of folks won’t be too happy. But the law is the law and it should be followed. Period. Arbitrary dates and deadlines and procedural niceties may not be that important in the giant scheme of things but they are the law of the land and no amount of belly-aching for the candidates of choice will change that. Thems the breaks. After all, if we disregard those things, we may as well not have them. The court could have offered some guidance or withheld the decision until after elections but that wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting.

And I’m fully aware of the irony that this is coming from me, your local libertarianish sort.

12 Responses to “It sucks but it’s the right call”

  1. persimmon Says:

    The law of the land says you can’t amend a ballot within 40 days of an election. On March 29, 34 days before the May 2 primary, the Tennessee Supreme Court amended the ballots of both Shelby Co and Knox Co. Worse still, their amendments were incoherent and unresolved, and they are refusing to clarify them.

    Furthermore, a referendum overwhelmingly adopted by Knox Co was disregarded for 12 years. Now that that particular aspect of the law of the land is suddenly valid, we can’t postpone the election for one month because we must strictly adhere to an arbitrary law that says county primaries should occur on the first Tuesday in May? That’s robo-bureaucrat think. Of course, you are an accountant…

  2. #9 Says:

    Do we want Courts that look at the calendar for every conceivable timing consequence or do we want Courts that follow the docket? The law states you follow the docket. We obey the law.

    rikki’s ideas are Utopian. The Court did their job and followed the law. Like many Utopian Democrats rikki does not hold the law in high regard. rikki writes, “Piss off, your honor” and “Not only did the State Supreme Court refuse to clarify how they expect Knox Co to comply with their recent term limits ruling, they were also dicks about it.” Sigh, not very eloquent rikki. Not very accurate or mature either.

    Knox County has complied with the recent term limits ruling. It wasn’t a big deal. If you vote for a term limited ineligible to serve incumbent you give your vote to the Republican or Democrat Party as a proxy vote. You are free to waste your vote. Or you can do a little homework and vote for a qualified write-in candidate. There are many of them.

    Who are the anarchists rikki? They are the ones that do not want to obey the law. People like you.

    The ballot was not amended rikki. The addition of write-in candidates was not an amendment. So far the law is being followed. Your argument calls for the law to be broken. it makes no sense. Your Utopian dreams will have to wait.

    As far as the 12 years that have passed without action in Knox County you can ask Richard Beeler and Mike Moyers about that. It is a good question.

  3. SayUncle Says:

    I’m no expert (just an accountant) but it seems that when two or more laws are contradictory, the courts settle that. And they did. But I’m just an accountant.

    I’d probably support an extension in this instance though.

  4. persimmon Says:

    Iím no expert (just an accountant) but it seems that when two or more laws are contradictory, the courts settle that. And they did.

    No they didn’t. They refused to settle it. That’s the whole point.

    It is still unclear whether the term limited candidates are actually ineligible, based on remarks by Chancellor Weaver. The Supreme Court neglected to deal with the contradiction between their ruling and scheduling considerations when they ruled in March, and their decision yesterday proves their March neglect was not an oversight, but willful disregard for the integrity of the election process.

    Placing laws that dictate scheduling of an election on the same level as laws that define the election itself is asinine. You are basically saying that a Knox Co citizen’s rights are better served by adhering to an arbitrary schedule at the risk of having that vote nullified than by postponing the vote until the legal questions are resolved and we can hold one of those uninteresting elections where voters know what is at stake and that their vote will count.

  5. SayUncle Says:

    You are basically saying

    No, I am not. I am saying that term limits are the law of the land. The court agrees. Seems it is settled but the local yokels are upset and unsure what to do.

  6. #9 Says:

    No they didnít. They refused to settle it. Thatís the whole point.

    The Tennessee Supreme Court did settle it. The ineligible incumbents are ineligible to serve. But because of State Election law they MUST remain on the ballot. It may be a little confusing but it is not difficult for adults to figure out what to do.

    Weaver questioned a part of the Charter. And because of that the “Hell no we won’t go five” betrayed their oath, the Charter, and the people of Knox County and brought a “lawsuit of anarchy” to save their precious commission seats. They are Pariah.

    When the Knox County Election Commission and the KNS both say they welcome the lawsuit from the “Hell no we won’t go five” you can see how compromised the local government and media is.

    The whole reason this problem is here is that elected officials in Knox County have refused to do their duty for 12 years. Particularly Richard Beeler and even more to the point Mike Moyers. When Moyers recused himself that was the ultimate act of cowardice. His reason, he was running for office and felt it was a conflict of interest. He is running unopposed.

    What’s wrong rikki, do you desperately want a hanging chad? Your defense of the status quo is amazing, especially considering that you will not be voting in this election.

  7. persimmon Says:

    Chancellor Weaver told the KNS that no one has been formally declared ineligible. Candidates who had ended their campaigns started them back up. Notice how PubIX no longer praises the noble commissioners who stepped down? That’s because they stepped back up.

    The “rules” of this election are not settled. Whether the Shelby Co case applies only to commissioners or to other county officers as well is not settled. No court has ruled on that question. It is not even certain that the Shelby case applies to Knox Co. That depends on how similar the charters are. There could be yet more surprises to come from the courts, and since the Supremes refused to clean up their mess, who knows how long the puddle will fester before someone has the courage to pick up a mop?

    Moncier went before the Supremes this week representing several clients all seeking clarification on what the Shelby Co decision means for Knox Co. Those clients are doing more to get the issues resolved than any of us are by arguing about it. Because of Supreme irresponsibility, the cases will now have to travel through the appeals courts, meaning we may not know for sure which candidates and officeholders are eligible to serve when it comes time to swear them in for another term.

  8. #9 Says:

    The “irresponsibility” is in Knox County. The ineligible incumbent Knox County Commissioners are ineligible to serve, not to run. This is very simple.

    But those that want to count a hanging chad will have a problem “interpreting” what is happening.

  9. persimmon Says:

    Yes, it’s all so simple that Chancellor Weaver heard eight hours of arguments in his courtroom yesterday trying to figure it all out.

    By the way, your claim that the sheriff is exempt from term limits is exactly the same argument used to ignore the 1994 referendum. In other words, you are defending the status quo and literally mimicking the officials you criticizing, like the dim hypocrite you’ve always been.

  10. #9 Says:

    In other words, you are defending the status quo and literally mimicking the officials you criticizing, like the dim hypocrite youíve always been.

    That would depend on what you define the status quo as. I was not giving my opinion. The Sheriff is not defined in the Charter. Hence he and the other judges not defined in the Charter are not included. If you lived here you could complain to the people the wrote the Charter like the “Hell no we won’t go five”. I am not sure non-residents can complain. But at least two will.

    The fault lies with Richard Beeler and Mike Moyers, not the Supreme Court.

    But, if you dangle the chad just so maybe you can count it. Is everyone that disagrees with you a “dim hypocrite”? Or just those that follow the law?

  11. persimmon Says:

    The Metro Pulse editorial you praised says your claim that the sheriff is exempt from term limits is likely invalid, based on the wording in the Shelby Co ruling. It concludes by calling for a prompt resolution of the unresolved issues. The fastest and most definitive resolution would have been for the Supremes to hear Moncier’s emergency petition, but they refused, so now we are facing the slow and painful trudge through the appeals court the MP editorial dreads. It’s that same slow trudge that prompted me to curse the Supreme Court for its irresponsibility in handling this matter.

    MP lured you into agreeing with them by insulting people you want insulted, and your overriding interest in insults over substance lured you into disagreeing with me. My screed and the MP editorial are both calls for a prompt resolution of this matter, yet you praised one and rejected the other and seem to actually believe nothing needs to be resolved. Your perspective is so dim and muddled, calling it “hypocritical” may be giving it more acknowledgement than it deserves.

  12. #9 Says:

    The Metro Pulse editorial you praised says your claim that the sheriff is exempt from term limits is likely invalid, based on the wording in the Shelby Co ruling.

    Do we live in Shelby County?