Bob Barr is currently suing to remove McCain and Obama from the Texas ballot, alleging that they did not file their paperwork on time. Barr is also suing to remove George Phillies from the ballot in NH (Barr is already on the ballot separately in that state).
As most readers here already know, Barr has created controversy by
snubbing Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty when they brought the presidential candidates of the Constitution and Green parties together, along with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, on a four-point platform of consensus on foreign policy, the national debt, privacy and the federal reserve.
Earlier in the campaign, Barr created waves by announcing he would be
refusing to debate other independent and alternative candidates. Even earlier, Bob Barr delayed his official decision on entering the race for the nomination until May 12, 2008, the day after all pre-nomination state conventions were over for the year, and was the only candidate for the nomination to avoid all alternative debates in Denver.
It has been alleged by sources in the Boston Tea Party that the Barr campaign made attempts to remove the Boston Tea Party and Objectivist Party from the ballot in Florida.
Although Bob Barr supports states’ right to pass medical marijuana laws today, at one time when he was a staunchly anti-medical marijuana Congressman he made headlines by refusing to allow DC medical marijuana votes to be officially counted. While some Barr detractors may see this latest lawsuit from the Barr campaign as part of a long standing pattern to silence all opposition by keeping opposing views out of debates and off the ballot whenever possible, others would argue that it is simply a way of giving the Democratic and Republican parties a taste of their own medicine.
Here is the press release from the Barr campaign so readers can judge for themselves:
Bob Barr Files Suit in Texas to Remove McCain, Obama from Ballot
Suit alleges that McCain, Obama knowingly missed filing deadlines
Atlanta, GA â€“ Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, has filed a lawsuit in Texas demanding Senators John McCain and Barack Obama be removed from the ballot after they missed the official filing deadline.
“The seriousness of this issue is self-evident,” the lawsuit states. “The hubris of the major parties has risen to such a level that they do not believe that the election laws of the State of Texas apply to them.”
Texas election code Â§192.031 requires that the â€œwritten certificationâ€ of the â€œpartyâ€™s nomineesâ€ be delivered â€œbefore 5 p.m. of the 70th day before election day.â€ Because neither candidate had been nominated by the official filing deadline, the Barr campaign argues it was impossible for the candidates to file under state law.
“Supreme Court justices should recognize that their responsibility is to apply the law as passed by the Legislature, and the law is clear that the candidates cannot be certified on the ballot if their filings are late,” says Drew Shirley, a local attorney for the Barr campaign, who is also a Libertarian candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.
A 2006 Texas Supreme Court decision ruled that state laws “does not allow political parties or candidates to ignore statutory deadlines.”
Orrin Grover, attorney for Bob Barr and Wayne Root, said that he believes that the Texas Secretary of State is bound by Texas law to remove the Republican and Democratic nominees from the November ballot. “Either we have rules and deadlines, or we do not,” Grover said.
The Chairman of the Texas Libertarian Party, Pat Dixon stated, “Libertarian principles require personal responsibility for your acts and failures. Obama and McCain failed to meet the deadlines. They must follow the law like everyone else.”
The petition also alleges that the Democratic Party’s late presidential filing falsely claimed under oath that Senator Obama had been nominated hours before the nomination actually occurred.
“The facts of the case are not in dispute,” says Russell Verney, manager of the Barr campaign. “Republicans and Democrats missed the deadline, but were still allowed on the ballot. Third parties are not allowed on the ballot for missing deadlines, as was the case for our campaign in West Virginia, yet the Texas secretary of state’s office believes Republicans and Democrats to be above the law.”
Barr will be holding a press conference this Thursday at the Texas Supreme Court at 11:00 a.m.
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.
For a high-resolution image of Barr, download here.
Texas Libertarian Party
Drew Shirley, Esq.
Drew Shirley, P.C.
Orrin Grover, Esquire
Orrin L. Grover, P.C.
In the comments, Richard Winger provides some of the rationale for the lawsuit:
In 1964, the Democrats missed the deadline in Iowa and the Secretary of State put Lyndon Johnson on anyway. Someone sued the Secretary of State to make him obey the law, but the court sided with the Secretary of State. In 1988, both the Democrats and the Republicans missed the Indiana deadline, but the Secretary of State put them on anyway. Lenora Fulani sued the Secretary of State to make him obey the law, but she lost.
These cases were very worthwhile because they established proof, for the history books, that the Dems and Reps did mess up. Then, in 1996, the Arizona Libertarian Party turned in their electors 3 days late. The Secretary of State kept Browne off. He sued and won. A key in the victory was the evidence that when the same thing had happened in Iowa and Indiana, the major parties got mercy. John Buttrick did that 1996 case for Harry Browne; Buttrick, of course, is not an Arizona Libertarian judge.
The moral of the story is that these lawsuits are valuable, because they get the truth out into the public record.
Another asset of the lawsuit is that the Secretary of State will inevitably file a brief saying deadlines should be construed flexibly. Then, when the Boston Tea Party turns in its presidential elector candidates for write-in status, what will the Secretary of State do? The write-in filing deadline was also August 26.