Justices again deny election request

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court has denied for the second time in two months a request to get involved in a Terre Haute mayoral election dispute.

The justices sent notice Tuesday to attorneys that they won't bypass the Court of Appeals on a dispute resulting from the November election, when Republican Duke Bennett ousted incumbent Democrat Mayor Kevin Burke by about 110 votes.

The court had previously decided not to get involved in an issue about whether Vigo Superior Judge David Bolk had jurisdiction in the case of the recount petition's validity because of a missing middle initial. Bennett later won by a few additional votes and was sworn in at the start of the year.

But Burke had also challenged Bennett's candidacy on grounds that he'd violated the Hatch Act, a federal law limiting political activity of non-profits receiving federal money. Bennett had worked during his campaign for Hamilton Center Inc., which operated as an Early Head Start program and received a federal grant.

After the recount, Judge Bolk ruled in December that state law doesn't prevent Bennett from taking office and that any violation of the federal law was unintentional. Rather than go directly to the Indiana Court of Appeals, attorneys asked the state's highest court to intervene. But a docket entry Tuesday shows the justices denied that.

Indianapolis attorney Bryan Babb, who is representing Bennett, said the case now goes before the Court of Appeals and could take as long as two years to get through both appellate courts.

"I think it's fair to say that if they felt that Judge Bolk had got it wrong and that Mayor Bennett does not belong in office, then they would have accelerated this process and heard the case as soon as possible," Babb said.

Ed DeLaney is representing Burke.

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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.