As promised, I have posted the Republican response to the Democrat’s lawsuit. All the documents I have managed to obtain thus far are available for download in an easy to manage .ZIP file. Or you can separately retrieve PDFs of both the Secretary of State’s Response, and the Rossi Brief.
For good measure, I have also thrown in a copy of the 1996 memo the Rossi campaign has been touting, in which the SOS says that they were advised by the Attorney General’s office (that would have been Gregoire at the time), that the “decision of the canvassing board with respect to the inclusion or exclusion of a particular ballot during the canvass is not open to question during the recount.” It’s an effective PR maneuver, but even an official AGO wouldn’t have any legal standing.
[UPDATE: The AP reports that Democratic Spokeswoman Kristen Brost claims the memo is not what it seems: “Brost said that memo referred to legal advice from previous state attorneys general, not from Gregoire.”]
My impression of the SOS brief is that Sam Reed has hired very good lawyers. Their brief is well argued, and at least as compelling as the Dems. They argue that this is a “recount”, not a “re-canvass”, and that’s the way recounts have always been conducted. (Except, of course, for the first recount.) But then, I’m not an attorney, so what the hell do I know.
However, Rossi’s brief reads like it was written by PR hacks, not lawyers. By it’s whiny, condescending tone, it is clearly intended more for the court of public opinion than the Supremes.
There, I’ve given you both sides of the dispute, a gesture of fairness I suppose the neo-cons will inevitably view as a sign of weakness. I just hope you all appreciate the irony that it is the “outrageous” HorsesAss.Org that is truly promoting informed debate, rather than the obversely named Sound Politics.