State of The Recall

by Steven F. Hayward

We should never be surprised at the Ninth Circuit’s depredations. It has been a rogue court for more than 20 years. We shall have to await a close reading of the decision by our legal friends, but one question that comes to mind is whether the holding of this court is that punch card ballots are ipso facto unconsitutional, based on the Supreme Court’s holding in Bush v. Gore in 2000.

There were some of our legal scholars (like Mike McConnell) who worried in December 2000 that the Supreme Court’s use of the equal protection argument as it applied to the counting of punch card ballots in Bush v. Gore would come back to bite conservatives. Setting aside the constitutional wisdom of the California recall, this appears to be the specter that McConnell worried about. It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles the appeal, i.e., whether it modifies Bush v. Gore and repudiates the Ninth Circuit once again, or whether it punts entirely, not wishing to be drawn into another political mess. If the Supreme Court overrules the Ninth Circuit, it will add fuel to the fire of the left that there is a giant GOP conspiracy to steal elections (even though this is nonsense).

Meanwhile, my absentee ballot arrived today. It is hilarious seeing 134 names on one very large page. Some candidates I have missed include: Democrat Edward Kennedy; David Laughing Horse Robinson (occupation described as “Tribal Chairman); Randall D. Sprague, a Republican whose occupation is “Discrimination Complaint Investigator”; Kurt “Tachikaze” Rightmyer, “Middleweight Sumo Wrestler”; Bruce Margolin, “Marijuana Legalization Attorney”; Ronald Jason Palmieri, “Gay Rights Attorney.” It goes on.