Did Bush/Cheney hope this would be forgotten?

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Unless Bush thinks he can just ignore our Constitution, I have to assume he must have thought that he would win by enough of a margin that he wouldn't need the 32 electoral votes from his own state. The fact that Cheney took actions (though apparently too little too late) immediately after being chosen, to cover for this lack of foresight, indicates that at least Cheney was aware of the problem.

Suit takes aim at Cheney's residency in Wyoming

By Mary McLachlin, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Saturday, November 18, 2000

A little-noticed lawsuit that could invalidate the Bush-Cheney ticket's claim to Texas' 32 electoral votes -- and make the fuss over Florida's 25 votes moot -- wavered between Florida and Texas federal courts Friday.

At the end of the day, it was still in Miami, with lawyers in Texas watching its progress and looking at filing their own version there.

The suit, filed Monday by Boca Raton lawyer Lawrence Caplan, says vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney is still a legal resident of Texas, despite moving his voter registration to Wyoming in July. The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits electors from voting for both a president and vice president who are "inhabitants" of the same state as the electors.

The suit calls Cheney's switch of registration a "cynical attempt to finesse and circumvent" the 12th Amendment.

Cheney fails to meet Wyoming's residency requirements, which are less than the federal standard for inhabitancy, the suit alleges. It cites Cheney's current homestead exemption claim on his $1.6 million suburban Dallas home, his Texas driver's license and federal tax returns listing him as a Texan.

Caplan cited rulings by the Wyoming Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court that a person must physically reside in a place -- for up to a year, in some instances -- to claim residency.

Under Wyoming law, Cheney, an avid sportsman, can't even get a fishing and hunting license until next summer -- a year after he switched his registration -- according to the suit.

A Cheney spokesman said when the suit was filed that Cheney grew up in Wyoming and still owns property there, he represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives and was "a legally registered voter in Wyoming in this election."

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore issued an order in Miami Friday morning asking, in effect, why Caplan's suit shouldn't be filed in another jurisdiction, presumably Texas or Wyoming. Caplan amended it, arguing that the Florida court has jurisdiction and urging an immediate hearing before election results, and electors, are certified.

He also added to the defendants -- Gov. George W. Bush, Cheney and the Texas secretary of state -- the U.S. government officer named as the "ultimate certifier" of electoral votes in the Constitution: the vice president, Al Gore.

Adding Gore was a strategic move to bolster the argument that the court has jurisdiction over any case in which a defendant is "an officer or employee of the United States."

"(This) is not a 'Texas' case. Nor is it a 'Wyoming' case," Caplan argued. "It is not even a 'Florida' case. . . . Where this case begins may not be nearly as important as where this case ends. But if this case is not heard here and now, it may not ever be heard."

Charles McGarry, a former chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas, said Friday he and other lawyers were "seriously looking" at filing a similar suit in Texas.

"There's never been any litigation over the 12th Amendment," McGarry said. "There's never been a serious question before about both halves of the ticket being from the same state."

Caplan, 42, has described himself as a registered Democrat who voted for Ronald Reagan and listens to conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh. He said he isn't aligned with any political group and decided to sue because he was upset by GOP efforts to prevent Florida's recounts.

He urged the Florida court to enjoin the Texas secretary of state from certifying the slate of 32 electors.

Certifying the electors without determining Cheney's legal residency, the suit says, "would be nothing short of a national travesty, an implication that our Constitution is nothing more than a 211-year-old piece of faded parchment whose words are now viewed as nothing more than mere technicalities to be cleverly finessed, if and when the need arises."

-- (circumventing@the.constitution?), November 19, 2000


The issue of how the State of Florida should handle recounting of votes does eventually need to be resolved. But it seems to me that this matter should take priority with the courts, since it could make the Florida decision inconsequential, at least with respect to the election of the president.

-- (get.ducks@in.a.row), November 19, 2000.

There's District 5 mentioned again. I need to get out a map to figure out where that place is. It sounds like an oasis in the desert.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 19, 2000.

The reason why the lawsuit has been "little noticed" is because most people who know election law realize that it's basically a frivilous lawsuit without very little merit.

"Residency," for the purpose of electability, is usually determined by several rules of thumb. One of the biggest is the place in which one is registered to vote. Back in my home county in NC, just before I moved to AL, there was a stink over a guy running for sheriff. He didn't even own a house in NC (his home was reportedly in Maryland, and his opponents argued that his wife hadn't even moved to NC).

The state elections board nonetheless ruled that he WAS a "resident" and thus eligible to run for sheriff, because the local elections board had ruled that he COULD register to vote in that county. He won the election and is currently serving as sheriff.

Another rule is taxes. If Dick Cheney pays taxes in Wyoming for yr 2000, that's further proof of residency. Since this hasn't even come up yet (2000 taxes aren't due until April 15, 2001 in most places), it can't be argued either way.

Then there's the fact that this lawyer has filed suit in Florida instead of Texas or Wyoming, which leads me to believe that he isn't terribly bright to start with.

Net result: this is a peripheral attack from a gadfly, and not something to be taken seriously. Of far more substance are arguments about the recount in Florida, which is why they're (correctly and deservedly) getting most of the attention in the media.

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), November 19, 2000.

Whow! who elected whom? The lessor of Evils is Bush. And we shall take him to task, after he is elected. Please Mr. Gore, give up, you had already alligned yourself with the Prince from Hell. Go, climb up under your rock. Who the Hell do You Think You Are? With your Chippy Cheer Leading Wife? You better take a look at yourself. And Give up the Ghost, for the good of the Country.

-- Gore, give it up (like@eagle.com), November 19, 2000.

Oh, and one other thing. Further thought further convinces me that, in my opinion, this lawyer is missing a few marbles.

The issue is the ELIGIBILITY of these two guys to run for Pres/Vice Pres. It has nothing to do with the electoral votes of a given state; it has to do with eligibility to serve in the office in question.

To give you an analogy, suppose I were to claim that I was eligible to serve as president of the local Civitan club. Afterwards, someone reveals that I'm not even a member. The correct course of action would be to refuse to install me as said President; you wouldn't decide that any votes cast for me in good faith were flawed, and should be thrown out.

Likewise, even if this suit had merit (which it doesn't), the courts would rule that, in SPITE of how many electoral votes they'd received, the Bush-Cheney ticket wouldn't be eligible for office. Going after a single state's electoral votes is 90 degrees out of phase with the intent of the law. Apples and oranges.

Further, these issues are supposed to be settled BEFORE an election. A guy announces his candidacy; anyone who wants to challenge has so many days to do so BEFORE the election. It's quite similar to the "speak now or forever hold your peace" thingie at weddings: if you have reason to believe that the bride and groom shouldn't be married, there's your chance. Once the preacher says, "I pronounce you man and wife," the idea is, the past is history and it's too late to object after the fact.

Likewise, if a challenge hasn't been made by election day, except for cases of outright and egregious fraud, it's generally too late. THAT'S how it works, and it's hard to believe that this lawyer wouldn't know that.

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), November 19, 2000.

Poole, I don't think you understand. Have you read the 12th Ammendment? Keep in mind that when the word "electors" is used, it is referring to the electoral college, who will be placing their votes on Dec. 18.

Article XII.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.<3> --The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

-- (illuminate@thy.self), November 19, 2000.


I *have* read it. YOU obviously haven't.

Find one line in there that gives any court the statuatory authority to nullify a given state's electoral votes on the basis of invalid candidacy.

If a candidate is invalid, it doesn't affect his/her vote count. It simply means that they cannot assume the office to which they've been elected.

Re-read that a couple of times and get back to me.

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), November 19, 2000.

Sheeesh, try to be helpful to people, and look how rude they get!

IDIOT, if the electors cannot vote for the Bush/Cheney ticket, the electoral votes of Texas will go to Gore, and GORE WILL WIN!!

The only reason I was trying to help you was because you are obviously TOO STUPID to figure it out yourself! And the nerve of YOU, saying the lawyer who brought this case is "missing a few marbles".

Sheesh, you're a hopeless fool.

-- LOL (what@jack.ass), November 20, 2000.


And I, in my turn, tried to patiently explain WHY that lawyer's suit was meritless, which is why the media has ignored it. I even gave you a (perfectly acceptable) example of WHY it was meritless.

Find one line in the 12th Amendment that gives any court the statuatory authority to nullify a given state's electoral votes on the basis of invalid candidacy. I notice you didn't answer that, because you can't, can you? :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), November 20, 2000.

LOL and Stephen,

For specific details on the constitutional issues, please refer to an earlier thread about this lawsuit, It's getting funnier. at http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0044ib

Also, note that the 12th Amendment specifies "inhabitant", not "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.

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>if the electors cannot vote for the Bush/Cheney ticket, the electoral votes of Texas will go to Gore,

But that's not what the problem is. See the earlier thread.

- - - - -


>Find one line in the 12th Amendment that gives any court the statuatory authority to nullify a given state's electoral votes on the basis of invalid candidacy.

It'll be Congress's authority, not a court's.

-- No Spam Please (nos_pam_please@hotmail.com), November 20, 2000.

From an admittedly non-lawlerly reading, it would seem that -- since it appears that Da Prez and Da Veep are ballotted upon separately (...they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President...) -- this could conceivably screw up Cheney, but not necessarily Bush. (Which would suit me just fine, since Cheney scares me more than Dubya.)

Either way, though, wouldn't the Supreme Court be the default venue for something like this, since it's a Constitutional issue?

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 20, 2000.

"Find one line in the 12th Amendment that gives any court the statuatory authority to nullify a given state's electoral votes on the basis of invalid candidacy. I notice you didn't answer that, because you can't, can you? :) "

Jeeeeezuuuz Christmas, this Poole fool must have cheese for a brain!!


There is no need to "nullify" any electoral votes because they are NOT PERMITTED TO VOTE FOR CHENEY IN THE FIRST PLACE, FOOL!!

-- :-) (mistah.t@i.pity.dat.poole.fool), November 20, 2000.

Cheney is a resident of Wyoming. He always has been. He is registered to vote in Wyoming. He did so.

LOL must stand for 'licking old lacerations'. Did you require assistance punching *your* chad?

-dimpled blue brain-

-- Will Continue (farming@home.com), November 20, 2000.

Anyone care to discuss which candidate has the smarter base?


-- Will Continue (farming@home.com), November 20, 2000.

Will continue... see this thread


It explains how all the people who voted for Bush are stupid Yahoos

-- (just@like.you), November 20, 2000.

YO....read this chad chops;


-- Will Continue (farming@home.com), November 20, 2000.

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