Thursday, March 15, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court Reverses Judge Louis Rosenberg, Deems White Was Eligible To Hold Office As Secretary Of State
The Indiana Supreme Court has just issued its unanimous opinion in the Charlie White eligibility case reversing the decision of Marion Co. Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg overturning the Recount Commission's determination that Charlie White was eligible to hold office as Secretary of State. The opinion written by retiring Chief Justice Randall Shepard can be accessed here. The Court ruled that the Democratic Party waited too long by waiting until after the election to challenge White's voter residency status consistent with its recent decision in Burke v. Bennett. By ruling as it did, the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of whether White was legally registered to vote, an issue that it will likely revisit when/if it hears a criminal appeal of White's Hamilton County criminal convictions for vote fraud-related crimes. Interestingly, Justice Dickson in a concurring opinion agrees with my constitutional analysis that the state constitution does not impose as a qualification for being secretary of state that a person be a registered voter of the state. He would deem the state statute requiring a secretary of state candidate to be a registered voter as a condition to his candidacy unconstitutional. As a consequence of today's decision, Gov. Mitch Daniels will get to name White's permanent successor to that office to serve out the remainder of his term unless the court later overturns White's criminal convictions for vote fraud-related charges on appeal. More analysis to come.