Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What New Election Law Will Judge Rosenberg Make Up Today?

Who needs the Indiana Election Code and years of Indiana election law precedent when you have Judge Louis Rosenberg? The trailblazing judge has been making up new election law at an unprecedented pace in his quest to ensure the installation of the Democrats big-time losing candidate for secretary of state, Vop Osili, to that position despite his overwhelming repudiation by Indiana voters in the 2010 election. The Democrats first waited until after the election to challenge White's election after he won in a landslide victory over Osili. No problem said Rosenberg, choosing to ignore the Supreme Court's recent precedent in Burke v. Bennett where the state's high court ruled that Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett could not be removed from office despite the fact that he was ineligible to be a candidate for Terre Haute mayor because his candidacy was prohibited by the Little Hatch Act. After Bennett's election, the statute no longer disqualified him the court held. By waiting until after the election to raise the issue, the Supreme Court said the losing Democratic candidate lost his right to challenge Bennett's election. Rosenberg simply decided the case didn't apply to Charlie White's election.

Republicans then argued that even if you accepted the Democrats' contention that White was not "legally" registered to vote at the time he was nominated by the Republicans, since even the Democrats concede White was a legally registered voter at the time of the November, 2010 election, White should be deemed eligible based on his status at the time of his election. Rosenberg decided that he shouldn't have been on the ballot in the first place because he was not legally registered to vote at the time of his nomination by the Republican Party. As the Supreme Court has instructed us in the Bayh and Evrard cases, liberally applied voter intent is paramount in determining a person's residence for voting purposes. Essentially, a person's stated intention with any supporting evidence of intent concerning that stated intention will always prevail under the standards applied by our Supreme Court. White had supporting testimony of both his wife and ex-wife, a driver's license, mail and other evidence to support his intent. Again, Rosenberg decided the law means something entirely different. Despite a unanimous finding of the Recount Commission, including a respected former Democratic judge, who actually heard the testimony of multiple witnesses and received evidence supporting that intent unlike the judge, Rosenberg declared White didn't have intent to reside either where he claimed to reside prior to his nomination or at the time of his nomination to be "legally" registered to vote in Indiana. In other words, he was simply a man without a legal residence who could not at the time have cast a legal vote in Indiana despite the fact that he has resided in the same county within a couple mile radius his entire adult life. Applying the Rosenberg standard to voters casting votes in any given election, it would mean tens of thousands of voters every election could be denied the right to vote based on the arbitrary decision of an election board of where it and not you determined was your residence at the time.

Any person who has worked as an election judge, clerk or inspector at an Indiana election knows that under no circumstances would a voter in White's situation have been deemed an "illegally" registered voter as the law has been applied prior to Judge Rosenberg's ruling. White would have been permitted to vote period. Anyone who says otherwise is simply lying. Go back and review the archived video of the Marion County Election Board meetings when the board considers all the challenges precinct election boards made in past elections held in this county. In almost every case, the election board overruled any objections to a disputed vote cast in that election. I've come to the conclusion after watching those meetings that it's almost a waste of time to challenge a person's vote having served as an election judge in multiple elections. The election boards almost always resolve any doubts in favor of the voter regardless of the substance of the challenge. What we have seen take place in this Charlie White saga is a judge turning well-established election law on its head at every turn to reach the outcome he desires, which is to install as the winner of the secretary of state's race a candidate of his political party who received only 38% of the vote. That's not even taking up the issue of whether Judge Rosenberg should have been sitting in judgment of White given his daughter's public role in advocating and publishing a legal analysis declaring her opinion that White was ineligible to hold the vote before the Democrats even filed their initial complaint against White.

The Attorney General and White have both declared their intention to appeal Judge Rosenberg's unprecedented rulings in this case to a higher court, which ultimately will be decided by the Supreme Court. The Democrats want White tossed from office and Osili installed now while White challenges the outcome, which would be an unprecedented move and contrary to the Burke v. Bennett decision, but precedent has not stood in the way of this judge making contrary rulings in the past so anything is possible. Rosenberg has said he will rule this morning whether his party's chosen candidate or the people's chosen candidate will serve in the secretary of state's office while this case makes its way through the appeals process.

Make no mistake about it. If Vop Osili is installed as secretary of state, this race was stolen lock, stock and barrel by a judge who simply decided that he had the right to make up the law as he went along to make the candidate of his party's choice the winner. The fact that leaders of both parties, lawyers learned in the law and organizations like the ACLU who are suppose to fight to ensure that the rule of law still has meaning have not been screaming at the top of the their lungs about this outrage that is playing out in the Marion Co. Circuit Court should alarm everyone who holds dear their precious right to vote. What this case means is that your votes simply don't count. If a judge of the opposite political party decides his party's candidate and not the people's chosen candidate should hold that office, he can simply twist the law any way he likes to make your opponent the winner. We are seeing an Attorney General of this country who refuses to prosecute gang members who threatened voters with physical violence to prevent them from voting in the 2008 election, who at the same time is declaring a South Carolina Voter ID law essentially identical to an Indiana law that has been in effect for years and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court as violating the Voting Rights Act. Yes, Eric Holder is actually arguing that requiring a voter to prove his identity at the polls is tantamount to imposing a poll tax despite the Supreme Court's affirmation of Indiana's Voter ID law, a law since adopted by many other states. We are seeing our most precious right taken away from us as the public yawns and tunes in to learn the latest news about Kim Kardashian or Tim Tebow.

UPDATE: Judge Rosenberg may have gone up to the edge of the cliff, but he had enough doubt about his trailblazing electionmlaw-making to step back and not take the jump of making good on his order to remove White from office and install Osili to that office immediately. Judge Rosenberg wisely issued a stay of his order this morning until it is properly reviewed and decided by a higher court. Unless the Supreme Court decides to oveturn decades of law, Charlie White wins this case hands down, but you would never have a clue of the strong legal ground upon which White's defense rests by the biased, opinionated news reports fed to us on a daily basis by the local news media. Here's a copy of Judge Rosenberg's order here. Note that the Order is dated yesterday but was not released until today. Similarly, Judge Rosenberg held up the release of his Order determining that White should be removed from office a full day so that it was released the day before the start of the Christmas holiday weekend.

33 comments:

Guest said...

Not a peep about Lugar and Wrights lawsuit about his residence address in the paper or news. Not one word regardless of legal right or wrong .

Gary R. Welsh said...

That's because we've become a nation of men and ceased to be a nation of laws. Whoever has the muscle at the time decides what the law is. The rule of law is simply a figment of our imaginations.

Vox Populi said...

The problem is that many states charge for an identity card. If I don't have a car and have no need to drive, I don't need a driver's license (which makes sense to pay for). If I need to buy a state-issued ID in order to vote, that IS a poll tax. Many poor people in urban areas don't have cars and don't have need for driver's licenses. They shouldn't have to pay for a document that's mandatory to vote.

Gary R. Welsh said...

It's total BS, VP, and you know it. It's just a smokescreen to allow Democrats to use minority voters for cover to steal votes in elections and then scream disenfranchisement when you try to block them from engaging in election fraud.

Vox Populi said...

I think showing an ID is valid, but I don't think you should have to pay for it.

Indy4u2c said...

Vox: I believe the U. S. District Judge stated your argument was akin to throwing a piece of wet tissue against the wall to see if it sticks. -ID is required for many things today: establish a bank account, to be employed, GET WELFARE, etc. Yes, it's easy to see through your line of B. S. BTW, Vox, I believe the court ruled on your matter already.

Can anyone advise if a Complaint has been filed with the Commission on Judicial Qualifications for the judge ruling on a matter his own daughter publicly advocated?

Indy4u2c said...

P. S. Vox, please present your "poor person in an urban area" who has no identification....to believe that person exists is nonsense!

Gary R. Welsh said...

These people who supposedly can't afford an ID have no problem producing it when they need it to get a driver's license or a welfare benefit they want. It's just when they show up at the polls that they are lacking the means to produce a valid ID. Funny how that works.

Indy4u2c said...

Gary you are right on!

When the Dems tried "The Vox Argument" one of those people who "didn't have ID" and "couldn't obtain it" was a long-time Democrat who also WORKED AT THE BMV! -Thus, she had to have ID to get employment...and as for not being able to get one, well, another Democrat lie?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I should have added buying booze to that list. They always seem to have an ID to allow them to buy their alcohol.

Bill said...

Gary, I understand that you are a lawyer. Read the law. Its pretty clear. I understand you dont want a black man in the SOS position,but the law is the law.

Paul said...

I am a bit sympathetic to VP's argument, as it doesn't seem all that different from the argument against Obamacare, you shouldn't be required to buy a product, whether it be an ID or health care, to live, or perform constitutional rights like voting.

That being said, the easy answer is for the state to provide free IDs to anyone that does not have a driver's license. That should be a pretty small number. If the person gets a free ID card, then gets a driver's license, they have to pay the ID card fee too.

Thoughts?

Marycatherine Barton said...

So glad that the Circuit Court Judge issued a stay of his order, so that the elected In. Secretary of State can remain in office while Rosenberg's decision is being appealed.

Gary R. Welsh said...

That's your favorite answer to every question you don't want to answer, Bill. Blame it on racism. We're sick and tired of you guys trotting out that lame ass excuse every time you are advocating a position you can't defend on the merits. Just play the race card.

Indy4u2c said...

Bill:

Gary obviously not only read, but studied the law.

Gary is right. 'nough said.

Indy4u2c said...

To Vox & Paul:

Let me make myself perfectly clear: If the person cannot afford to BUY an Indiana ID card, the State of Indiana will GIVE IT TO YOU FREE!

That is correct. Verify it at http://www.in.gov/bmv/2837.htm

I would have said that one may use tax money (welfare) to obtain the ID card, but I learned that the State provides them at no cost.

Now what does the ignorant Vox or Paul got to say?????? (No comment from Vox or Paul this time)

Susan McKee said...

My parents are unable to vote because they have no valid government-issued photo id.

They no longer drive and their passports have expired.

That's two (Boone County) residents right there who are disenfranchised.

How many more examples do you need?

Gary R. Welsh said...

And you're such a caring daughter, Susan, that you can't drive them down to the BMV to receive a government-issued ID--for free? They are disenfranchised by choice, or your choice, take your pick.

Paul said...

Thanks for the info Indy. Wasn't aware of that fact. I probably could have done without the serious attitude in your comment though. Oh well.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Indy, If I'm not mistaken the Democrats also got caught using a voter as one of their exhibits for disenfranchisement who was curiously registered to vote in the state of Florida and casting votes there as well.

Indy4u2c said...

Dear Susan McKee:

I do NOT believe your assertion that you know someone in Indiana that does not have/cannot obtain easily proper identification.

Please allow me to investigate your laughable assertion and identify the alleged "Boone County residents." Who have no identification.....

(I didn't think you'd respond, because your assertion is FALSE!)

Pete Boggs said...

Poor behavior is the problem Vox- like that which was reported by the Howey Report in St. Joe County! In Wisconsin they're said to be buying recall votes.

You're mischaracterizing the problem in the condescendingly nefarious terms of poverty, when it's really just Partizan & Cheeta who want make law of duh jungle...

Susan McKee said...

Gary: my parents are in rehab; driving them ANYWHERE is not an option at the moment. And, FWIW, they've never been on welfare and they haven't bought booze in years.

Indy4u2c: do you think I'm making up having parents who live in Boone County and don't have valid government issued photo id -- although they've voted for decades (until moving to Indiana)?

Gary R. Welsh said...

You can renew ID cards with the BMV online. The more you talk about their inability to get an ID, the more you are making the case that perhaps they lack mental capacity to cast a vote themselves.

Susan McKee said...

Gary:
you can't renew ID cards at the BMV online when your last driver's license was issued in Illinois; there's nothing to renew.

Gary R. Welsh said...

So now you're saying your parents could physically make the move from Illinois to Indiana, but it is impossible for them to be transported with assistance to a BMV branch. You are going to find any excuse for why they can't get an ID. You're like the bad student who always has an excuse for why his homework didn't get completed.

Indy4u2c said...

OK, Susan McKee, here it is for you. You claim your parents moved from Illinois. You (as a relative) refuse to assist them in getting their FREE voting ID.

Now here is my question: Are they suffering Dementia? If they are unable to understand what they are doing, they have no business submitting a ballot as it would either be the choice of someone else (perhaps Susan) or not a choice at all....

Bottom line: everybody who is able to vote can vote with ID to prove they are the person they claim to be in Indiana.

Susan McKee said...

Both of you -- Gary and Indy4u2c -- are being ridiculous.

Yes, both my parents moved to Indiana from Illinois earlier this year. I drove them here, but I had a nurse in the car with me to take care of any health issues en route.

Neither suffers from dementia; both have been active citizens for decades.

My father served in the military and both are active in the American Legion, VFW, etc.

Of course I could drive them to a BMV branch, but then they'd have to sit there in one of those rickety metal chairs for the (sometimes) hours a visit such as that requires.

Neither could stand up for a photo.

One uses a "mobility scooter" and the other a wheelchair, so I'd need at least one more person (preferably two) to get them in and out of the car.

Indy4u2c says "everybody who is able to vote can vote with ID to prove they are the person they claim to be in Indiana." Which is patently NOT the case. They've got plenty of ID -- credit cards, membership cards, (expired) drivers licenses and passports, utility bills etc. -- but not a government-issued photo ID.

Neither of you is willing to admit that the new ID law places an unreasonable burden on the elderly.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Too bad that all who voted in the Iowa caucuses were not required to produce an id.

Gary R. Welsh said...

If your parents still lived in Illinois, they would need an ID to buy Draino:

CHICAGO (CBS) – A new state law requires those who buy drain cleaners and other caustic substances to provide photo identification and sign a log.

It’s getting a rough reception from customers and merchants alike although perhaps none more than a cashier at Schroeder’s True Value Hardware in Lombard.

“They’re not very happy about it at all,” said Don Schroeder, one of the store’s owners. “One of the customers actually threatened the (cashier) and threatened to throw the acid on her.”

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

So, Gary, you're comparing voting to buying Drano?

Gary R. Welsh said...

You bet. Or cashing a check, boarding a plane, or applying for a mortgage or a lease. The endless number of things in life we can't do without producing an ID.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

There's "produce ID" and then there's the government-issued photo ID requirement for voting.

IMHO, it's the rare elderly handicapped person who boards an airplane, drives a car, cashes a check, gets carded at a liquor store or, for that matter, buys caustic substances at the hardware store. (They don't get out much.)

I don't understand why you're in favor of disenfranchising people who have been voting all their lives just because they don't have (all of a sudden) a government-issued photo ID.

Tell me: can your 85 year old relatives put their hands on their original birth certificates? (As the BMV website notes, "Some states may take up to five months to process duplicate birth certificates.")

Can your elderly relative find her marriage license to validate her name change?

Getting an ID is not just showing up at a BMV office (although that's difficult enough if you're in a wheelchair).

The BMV requires:
One document proving your identity; and
One document proving your Social Security number; and
One document proving your lawful status in the United States; and
Two documents proving your Indiana residency.

Do you have some sort of bias against the old and the infirm?