There is an old saying, never count your chickens before they’re hatched. In Santa Ana, California, a group of 162 delegates is suing to be allowed to vote for the nominee of their choice at the national convention. The legal brief filed Monday claims that state parties have forced the delegates to sign away their rights under both federal laws and the national GOP rules, as well as having broken various election laws.
As reported on Courthouse News, Richard Gilbert, the lawyer from Gilbert & Marlow who is handling the case for the delegates, has been quoted as saying “To have a real convention, the delegates must have free will so that when they meet, they can persuade each other and then decide who to vote for.” This spells trouble for the party bosses, who according to rumor selected Romney to be the candidate at the Las Palmas meeting with wealthy donors back in 2011. The allegations in the court documents, which include party rule changes in the middle of voting, delegate removal and manipulation of the system, harken back to a dark era in US politics, where secret handshakes and backroom deals were the way of things and the people had little say.
If the lawsuit is successful, then the Republican Party Convention in Tampa, FL becomes a wild west free for all. And if that happens, all bets are off. The real winner in such a scenario is Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who carefully packed delegate selections with his people. The 2012 convention would rival the chaos of the 1920 convention, where initially, all eyes were on Leonard Wood as the nominee. The nomination went instead to Warren G. Harding, who had placed a distant 5th place finish in the primaries with less than 7% of the “pledged” delegates.
The judge on the case, Justice David Carter, is a Clinton appointee who has overseen notable cases such as the Mexican Mafia and Aryan Brotherhood Trials as well as Barnett vs Obama where he threw out the Birther claims against the President. He also serves as a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and is reported to have a reputation as a strict judge who is fair and honest among his peers.
No date has yet been set for the case hearing.
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