McDaniel Gets Expedited Hearing at Supreme Court
The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Republican Chris McDaniel’s request for an expedited hearing, and announced it will hear oral arguments en banc, or before the entire panel of judges, on October 2, 2014.
“We appreciate the Supreme Court’s attention to our challenge and their decision to hear arguments before a full panel of the Court,” said McDaniel of the Court’s order.
“Activist judges have been a problem in Mississippi since the 1950s, as we saw with the Kellum decision, which, contrary to statute, imposed the 20 day deadline onto Congressional and statewide elections,” said McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch. “Since the statutes are silent on any issue regarding a twenty day deadline, any approval of such a deadline by the Court without legislative approval would be judicial activism by definition.”
“The Mississippi Supreme Court recently ruled on authority to file a challenge in the case of Speaker Gunn v. Barbour. In that challenge, Speaker Gunn filed his multi county election challenge 34 days after the election, and the Supreme Court found no reason to borrow the time limit in the county election statute of 20 days,” said Mitch Tyner, McDaniel’s lead attorney.” Doing so here to prevent Senator McDaniel from presenting his case on the merits would be a double standard.”
Chris McDaniel Press Release
Recently, I filed an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court to a recent ruling that our challenge was not filed in time, a ruling we clearly disagree with.
Yesterday our challenge received the news that the State Supreme Court will hear our appeal, and the court has scheduled our hearing for October 2nd.
We strongly disagree with the initual ruling to dismiss, and Mississippi State Code backs us up: there is no 20 day deadline that applies to federal and statewide elections in Mississippi.
From the beginning, our top priority has been to make sure that our challenge was heard—either before the State Executive Committee or in a court of law.
We remain committed to that goal for one very important reason: integrity matters. The integrity of the Republican Party matters.
The integrity of our election process is the most important element in the public policy arena. If our elections are not honest, what does that say about the rest of the public policy arena?
If we are to put our policy house in order, we must first put our electoral house in order.
So we fight on.
We are please we will have the opportunity to argue this very important issue before the Mississippi State Supreme Court, and as my attorneys prepare their argument, it is vital we have your support.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on October 2, and my team needs the time, the funds, and manpower to get ready for that day.
Will you chip in $15, $25, or $75 to help us get ready for this very important day?
It is vital that our challenge finally be heard in court, and this is the last hurdle to making that a reality.
Once we clear this last hurdle, the challenge will finally be heard “on the merits,” as they say.
Here’s why we’re confident: the decision to dismiss based on timing was based on a law that was repealed in the 1970s.
As State law currently reads, the provision about challenging statewide elections stands separate from the statute regarding county elections, and therefore provides no deadline for filing a challenge.
My attorney Mitch Tyner followed the law which contains no deadline for filing a challenge to a statewide primary.
The so-called “twenty day deadline” was added by the courts just this week from a different and inapplicable statute.
It is unreasonable to require attorneys to take into account deadlines that are not in the statute or even in the annotations which inform the statutes.
What is more, The Mississippi Supreme Court recently ruled on authority to file a challenge in the case of Speaker Gunn v. Barbour.
In that challenge, Speaker Gunn filed his multi county election challenge 34 days after the election, and the Supreme Court found no reason to borrow the time limit in the county election statute of 20 days.
The Supreme Court would apply a clear double standard if it were to uphold Judge McGehee’s recent decision and prevent our case from being heard on the merits.
Furthermore the Court will be faced with the specter of acting as an activist court.
Since the statute is silent on the issue of any deadline for multi-county elections, any ruling that supports a twenty day deadline without judicial approval is, by definition, judicial activism.
Even the Secretary of State — the elected official directly responsible for administering Mississippi’s elections — has said “there is no deadline under state law for a candidate to file a statewide primary election challenge.”
It is for these reasons we are confident our case will ultimately be heard on the merits.
Will you help us continue our fight? A donation of $10, $50, or $100 will go a long way to helping us make our case before the State Supreme Court.
Integrity in elections will always matter, and we will always fight for it. Your continued support is vital to this endeavor, and we are grateful to you for that support.