Palm Beach Post: New federal lawsuit says Bush and Cheney can't claim Texas' 32 electoral votes because both are inhabitants of the state -- a violation of the 12th Amendment : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Suit questions Bush-Cheney claim to TX votes

By Mary McLachlin, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

WEST PALM BEACH -- A federal lawsuit filed here Monday says George W. Bush and Dick Cheney can't legally claim Texas' 32 electoral votes because both are inhabitants of the state -- a violation of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The amendment prohibits a state's electors from voting for both a president and vice president from their state. Cheney has lived and worked in Texas for eight years but switched his voter registration to Wyoming in July to try to avoid the constitutional conflict.

That's not good enough, says the suit filed by Lawrence A. Caplan, 42, a Boca Raton lawyer. Merely moving one's voter registration doesn't meet the legal definition of being an "inhabitant," Caplan argues.

The suit says Cheney's primary residence is in Texas, his pre-nomination employment with Dallas-based Halliburton Corp. was in Texas, he voted in Texas in every election cycle for eight years until last week's election, he carries a Texas driver's license and all his federal tax returns list him as a Texan.

A spokesman for the Bush campaign in Austin said Cheney still owns property in Wyoming.

"Dick Cheney grew up in Wyoming, he represented Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives and he was a legally registered voter in Wyoming in this election," GOP spokesman Ray Sullivan said.

Caplan's suit says Black's Law Dictionary defines inhabitant as "one who resides actually and permanently in a given place and has his domicile there." It cites case law saying "residence" is not the same as inhabitant, which implies "a more fixed and permanent abode . . . imparting privileges and duties to which a mere resident would not be subject."

"He hasn't met the test. Not even close," Caplan said. "It was just a cynical attempt on their part to get around the Constitution, and they never thought in a million years anyone would have called them on it."

Caplan said he decided to file the challenge because he felt the Bush campaign's attempts to stop the recount were wrong. He said he isn't aligned with either party or any protest group.

"My voter registration card says Democrat, but I voted for Ronald Reagan and I listen to Rush Limbaugh," he said. "I don't always agree with him, but I enjoy the show."

-- eve (, November 16, 2000


Wow... Thanks for the article. This will never end.

Mar. (shaking head in confusion)

-- Not now, not like this (, November 16, 2000.

I think Joe Public has reached the breaking point with politicians' propensity to bend/break the rules for their own gain and they're now calling them on their shit and demanding explanations/accountability via the courts. Yes, a citizen revolt may very well unfold but not necessarily with guns and grenades.

-- Lawsuit (, November 16, 2000.

shout it from the rooftops said=jesus

sooner or later=the crop comes in!!!!

-- al-d (, November 16, 2000.

Also see an earlier thread about the same article (note -- there is now a different article at the link at the top of that earlier thread, but when that thread was started, that link pointed to the same article as quoted in this thread): It's getting funnier. at

-- No Spam Please (, November 16, 2000.

I told you about this a week ago...

Why did it take so long for them to figure it out?

-- (, November 16, 2000.

What You Need To Do To Establish In-State Residency

There are four basic elements to proving this:

Durational Requirement: How long you must remain continuously in the state. Many states require twelve months.

Proof of Residency: Factors that the state looks at to evaluate whether or not you intend to remain in the state. These factors include, but are not limited to:

* Registration to vote

* A driver's license in the state

* Registration of a motor vehicle in the state

* Purchase of a home in the state

* Filing of an income tax return in the state

* An affidavit of intent to establish residency

-- told you so (cheney@not.even.close), November 16, 2000.

Mr. Cheney should have claimed residence in New York. If you buy a house there, you do not even need to live there. You can even get your benefactors to buy you a house so you can run for the Senate and even get elected with no previous usable experience. If this is a problem, why did the people in Texas not notice and complain? Are voters there as stupid as the ones in Palm Beach? Another case of exquisite timing waiting until after the people have voted. Another trick to try to steal the election? Where is the outrage? One attorney? Next some ingenious attorney will file suit in Chicago claiming that Kennedy stole the election and ask for a new election.

-- laughing my a ___ off (amazed@honesty.not), November 17, 2000.

"Mr. Cheney should have claimed residence in New York."

Aaah, I assume you are referring to Hillary? Sorry friend, she knows what the rules are, and that's why she followed them to the letter.

You shouldn't really blame Cheney though, the problem is that Bush is so dumb he waited until it was too late to even tell Cheney that he wanted him to be VP. Of course being a member of the Bush family, he was raised to believe that the Constitution doesn't apply to him.

-- (bush/cheney@goin.down), November 17, 2000.

Isn't it interesting when some preach about the constitution or the law or the bending of the law and then when something simple like oh, The 12th Amendment, comes in to play where there may be a possible violation it's all chaulked up to "trying to steal an election".

Yep, that ol' Constitution just becomes a little "technicality" along with the whole concept of having a vote actually COUNT as a vote.



-- Mike Taylor (, November 17, 2000.


Um..I live in Texas, and we knew about this LONG ago. In fact, it's been all over the net. The thing that tickled me is that a Boca attorney actually filed his own law suit. His gratification seems to be revenge for the attempts to stop the recount there. Texas is outstandingly Republican [in case you haven't noticed.] Democrats don't even bother much to run in this state. Anyone want to estimate the bill for this one?

-- Anita (, November 17, 2000.


AFAIK, there is not yet any court ruling on whether "inhabitant" is the same as "resident" for purposes of the 12th Amendment.

Since the 12th Amendment specifies "inhabitant", I advise you not to casually substitute "resident". The legal standard for "inhabitant" with regard to the 12th Amendment may turn out to be tougher than the legal standard for "resident" in other contexts.

-- No Spam Please (, November 17, 2000.

Establishing domicile is really very simple. (Side comment: My husband worked in CA quite a bit and according to the law there, any income receive within its borders is subject to state income tax. As a matter of fact, pilots must record the time they are in CA airspace and pay taxes for the income they get while in CA airspace. Sorry for the digression)

My point is that this is all a bunch of hooey. Cheney needs to establish the intent of living in another state. This is done so easily no matter where you own property. Military folks can establish residence in any state they've been stationed. Most pick Texas because of no state income tax. If you're in a state for a certain percentage of the year, you can establish domicile there. (I forget the %, it's been awhile since I needed to know it; my job took me out of state about 80% of the time). If this had been around (as Anita says) for a long time, then there's not much more to the story.

-- Maria (, November 17, 2000.

As a matter of fact, pilots must record the time they are in CA airspace and pay taxes for the income they get while in CA airspace.

^^^What a ripoff!!!!!!

Here's to Ohio. What a bunch of BS....they gotz to pay taxes for CA airspace? What a crock of shit.

-- amazed at the ripoff State (, November 17, 2000.


AFAIK, there is not yet any court ruling on whether "inhabitant" is the same as "resident" for purposes of the 12th Amendment.

No Spam is correct. We have legal definitions of resident but not inhabitant. This could go on for some time.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 17, 2000.

Durational Residency Requirements... Still, this clearly thwarts the intent of the founders in establishing the requirement.

From: Politics, la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), November 17, 2000.

I think it is the tax thing that is gonna get Cheney. They might let him slide on other criteria since he has property there, but I doubt that he filed an income tax return in Wyoming for the 1999 tax year. Doubt it very much. The gubmint is going to have a hard time with the idea that he could be an inhabitant of a state without paying a dime of taxes.

-- (bye@bye.cheney), November 17, 2000.


Wyoming Income Tax

Unless they have changed the law in the last few days, Wyoming doesn't have either personal or corporate income tax.

Hope this helps,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 17, 2000.

By-the-by, Bye Bye:

Here is the policy from their web site; not that easy to find.

The state of Wyoming does not levy a personal or corporate income tax. Wyoming does not impose a tax on intangible assets such as bank accounts, stocks, or bonds either. In addition, Wyoming does not assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. There is no current legislation in the works to create an income tax.

And you wonder why many are retiring there.

Added as a service.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 17, 2000.

No way can Cheney be an inhabitant of Wyoming. He has lived in Texas for the last 10 years, and all his income was in Texas. To be an inhabitant you have to have more than just property, the actual physical body of the human being has to be in that state for a majority of the time.

-- (no@way.jose), November 17, 2000.

No Way:

Then how about all of those people in Israel who are casting absentee ballots in Florida. Yeh, I know, a different question. Question is where did he vote in state elections. According to the press reports he didn't vote.

Best Wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 17, 2000.

Bye may still have a point regarding the addresses that Cheney has specified on his last several federal tax returns. But I doubt that would be of much legal consequence.

- - - - - -


>Then how about all of those people in Israel who are casting absentee ballots in Florida.

Good point.

Did Cheney cast any absentee ballots in Wyoming elections, from Texas? Apparently not, from what's posted above. So he's not parallel to those Florida people in Israel.

-- No Spam Please (, November 17, 2000.


>Cheney needs to establish the intent of living in another state. This is done so easily no matter where you own property.

Do you think a federal court will look at the matter so casually when a specific Constitutional requirement is involved?

-- No Spam Please (, November 17, 2000.

Bush and Cheney are Texans with ties to oil. There's a reason for the 12th Amendment.

-- Chips off (the@same.block), November 17, 2000.

NSP, I don't care if they view it casually. I don't care how they feel about it. I do care that they look at the law objectively. That's the only manner with which to examine this issue in the courts. "Casually" doesn't play into it. I on the other hand, not being a member of the courts, can be casual on this topic.

-- Maria (, November 17, 2000.

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