Mid flight analysis:
I’m flying at 35,000 feet, halfway between Seattle and Philadelphia, but before takeoff, Andrew was kind enough to give me a lunch-break update from the Chelan County Courthouse. Apparently, Judge Bridges ordered the turkey club sandwich, but picked out the tomato. The Secretary of State’s lead attorney, Thomas Ahearn, had the chicken caesar salad, as did the Democrats’ Jenny Durkan (only with the dressing on the side.) Meanwhile the Republican legal team disappeared into a private conference room, only to emerge 30 minutes later, slightly disheveled and stinking of gin.
And oh yeah… the judge dismissed the 39 county auditors as defendants, while denying the Democrats’ motions on venue and jurisdiction.
I suppose it’s possible I’ll get to Philly, go online, and discover something dramatic happened. But I doubt it. Besides, it’s really all just foreplay until we get to the Supreme Court. (Not that I’m dissing foreplay.)
Speaking of which, I’m sure the cunning linguists over on the right-wing blogs have been wagging their tongues for hours now about Rossi’s stunning legal victory… whatever the ruling. But despite their best efforts to seduce voters with promises of a rock solid election, passion continues to steadily wane for their flaccid “re-vote” campaign.
[Editor’s note: No, I’m not drunk… I’ve had nothing but tea and water. I’m just bored. Really, really, really bored.]
In fact, this whole election contest has been kind of a tease, hasn’t it? We have hundreds of felons voting for Rossi. Hundreds more unverified provisional ballots most of which have now been verified. Military personnel denied the vote even though ballots were mailed out on time, and returned in numbers matching the general public.
But the biggest tease of all, is the allegation that they have irrefutable proof of a stolen election, when all they’ve really uncovered are the types and quantities of errors we expect to see in any election of 3 million ballots cast.
So that’s my post ruling analysis. Let’s see how it holds up once I land and see the actual rulings for myself….
Post flight analysis:
Okay. I’ll preface my postscript by reiterating that none of this really matters, because the final ruling will be made by the Supremes.
But… if this ruling did matter… then it wouldn’t be a very a good day for Dino Rossi. I think.
I haven’t seen the transcript, but according to David Postman in The Seattle Times, Judge Bridges’s ruling may have given a fatal blow to the Republican case:
But he ruled that Republicans must show any illegal votes were cast in favor of Gregoire, and not Republican candidate Dino Rossi. There would have to be enough illegal Gregoire votes to erase her 129-vote victory margin.
Bridges said that if Republicans did prove their case, he would not order a new election for governor as they want him to do. Rossi has said that was the only remedy he would accept.
Democrats had argued the judge didn’t have that power, and Bridges agreed. He said state law and the state constitution do not give him the power to order a new vote, which he called “special relief.”
Remember what I wrote about the court lacking “general equity jurisdiction” in an election contest for an executive office? Both these rulings (assuming this was the ruling) seem to support this interpretation. Essentially, the judge has said that he would hold the contest to the narrow confines of the statute. That is exactly what the Democrats wanted.
Anyway, I’m continuing to wade through the available reports, and will post a more detailed analysis tomorrow.