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November 14, 2000 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Interesting article regarding a lawsuit filed against Bush/Cheney regarding Texas' electoral votes. Looks like Cheney violated the 12th amendment of the Constitution...see for yourself.
posted by JFunk2800 (18 comments total)

 
Hoo boy; and there's a short deadline for getting it settled, including appeals. I wonder if the Supreme Court would be willing to take it on right now? It essentially has to be settled before December 18 or it will be moot. (If Gore ultimately wins Florida, it's moot anyway.)

posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:56 PM on November 14, 2000


oh for the love of pete. is there any underhanded, double-dealing, backslapping, old-boy network trick these guys DIDNT try?
posted by nonsequitur at 8:55 PM on November 14, 2000


Here's an interesting comment that I'm lifting wholesale from some other message board.

Cheney changed his voter registration to Wyoming, which required him to sign an oath stating that he's a resident of that state. Wyoming has a legal definition of residence: "the place of a person's actual habitation" and "the place where a person has a current habitation and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning." So if Cheney is a resident of Texas, he's committed fraud.

Cheney also owns a house in Dallas, Texas, worth about $1.6 million, on which he's been granted a $347,654 residential homestead exemption. This exemption is granted only for property that is occupied as the receiver's "principal place of residence." So if Cheney is a resident of Wyoming, he's committed tax fraud.


posted by Jart at 8:56 PM on November 14, 2000


nonsequitor: I can't speak for the motives of Lawrence Caplan (the guy who filed the lawsuit), but realistically, the Repubs can't really rely on the part of the Constitution allowing the Electoral College vote to be different than the popular vote, but then fight the part of the Constitution that prohibits Texas' Electors from voting for Bush & Cheney. This is a real issue, and I hope that it at least gets more than a passing glance from the Federal court.
posted by delfuego at 9:24 PM on November 14, 2000


SDB: "It essentially has to be settled before December 18 or it will be moot."

In the 1876 Tilden-Hayes election, the "bi-partisan" Electoral College Commission voted along the party lines, 8-7, to give the electoral votes from the four disputed states to the Republican Hayes. The Democrat, Sam Tilden of New York, decided against challenging the EC Commission or the Florida election, where the Republicans heavily bribed the election officials to look the other way. (The Democrats were too late with their money.)

Back in the days the president was sworn in on March 4th. The EC Commission and the Congress certified the vote count the night before the inauguration.

Given the precedence, there should not be a time pressure to certify the ballot before Dec. 18th.
posted by tamim at 9:24 PM on November 14, 2000


Jart: wasn't the entire Whitewater investigation over a $203,000 loan? The residential homestead exemption granted to Cheney is 50% more than that; I wonder if the Republicans would accept a special prosecutor investigation into it.
posted by delfuego at 9:25 PM on November 14, 2000


The special prosecutor law has expired and not been renewed, and good riddance to it.

December 18 is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December; it's the day that the President of the Senate (Al Gore!) unseals the votes of the members of the electoral college, and if one candidate has a majority, the election is decided on that day.

But if choice of the electors from Texas are still up in the air on that date, then we truly do have a constitutional crisis on our hands. Much better to get it settled before that date. Which is why I wonder if the Supreme Court might be willing to take it on immediately.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:45 PM on November 14, 2000


This topic was already posted. Nov. 8 I think. I guess this is a new development, but the article linked to is:

Secretary of state lauded for deadline decision


posted by capt.crackpipe at 3:40 AM on November 15, 2000


The orignial article is here, I believe.
posted by iceberg273 at 5:28 AM on November 15, 2000


Thanks.

I'm glad somebody filed suit on this issue, but I bet dollars to donuts it'll get thrown out of court.

Then again, I don’t have a JD.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 6:52 AM on November 15, 2000


Here's the article mentionned above I had to dig for the link as it has changed already..
posted by TNLNYC at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2000


[delfuego] the Repubs can't really rely on the part of the Constitution allowing the Electoral College vote to be different than the popular vote

There is no such part of the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution doesn't say anything about the President being voted on by people at all. The Constitution specifies that the electoral college votes for the President; there is no legitimate question about that. Whether you think that's the fair and proper system is irrelevant.

[Jart] "Cheney also owns a house in Dallas, Texas, worth about $1.6 million, on which he's been granted a $347,654 residential homestead exemption. This exemption is granted only for property that is occupied as the receiver's 'principal place of residence.' So if Cheney is a resident of Wyoming, he's committed tax fraud"

Er... so are you saying if I got a tax exemption on my mortgage interest last year and this June I sold that house and moved to another state, that I would be committing tax fraud? I don't know if Cheney has a residence in Wyoming that could legally be considered a "primary residence," but this particular argument is ridiculous. Any tax filings mentioned would be from 1999, while he was still a resident of Texas. Unless I'm missing something, this is pretty silly.
posted by daveadams at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2000


The constitution states that the two candidates must not be inhabitants of the same state. Clearly Bush and Cheney are both inhabitanbts of Texas.

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."

A better article on the lawsuit from the Austin American-Statesman is available here.

Without Texas Bush has not got a chance.
posted by DragonBoy at 9:20 AM on November 15, 2000


I love the different site's takes on Katherine Harris(Florida Sec of State). Everything ranging From partisan hack to voice of reason. Of course I lean to the partisan hack side, as she WAS Bush's campaign manager in florida and couldn't possiby be non-partisan in her decision making here. But that's just me.
posted by dcodea at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2000


Any lawyers want to weigh in on this case?

Question tangentially related to this thread: What CMS are the PBI and AAS using? They only keep a week worth of content on the site. Everything else is pay-per-play. Is this standard practice from smaller dailies?


posted by capt.crackpipe at 10:44 AM on November 15, 2000


"I don't want anyone to feel scooped... we'll have a statement later."

Yeah, but after the way she handled the *first* press conference, when her tree falls in the forest, will anyone be around to hear it?
posted by baylink at 10:55 AM on November 15, 2000


Clearly Bush and Cheney are both inhabitanbts of Texas

I'm assuming you mean because Cheney lived in Texas for years before changing his residency back to Wyoming and because he still has a home there. Now if Dick Cheney doesn't own a home in Wyoming, then I would join in questioning the legal status of his residency change, but I've not seen any information regarding that.

But here's my question to you: if I move from Missouri to California, and establish a home in California, register to vote in California, and get a driver's license in California, then am I still a resident of Missouri even if I keep ownership of my home in Missouri?
posted by daveadams at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2000


I know that if you wanted to pay state tuition at a local college, you'd need more than a voter registration card to prove residency.

Not that that's relevant or anything.

posted by Jart at 3:16 PM on November 15, 2000


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