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Judge sets January hearing in Marion County judicial slating suit

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A federal judge has summoned attorneys for Gov. Mike Pence, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and members of the Indiana Election Commission to a pretrial conference in a lawsuit challenging the way Marion Superior judges are elected.

Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch issued an order last week calling together parties next month for an initial pretrial conference. The suit, brought by Common Cause and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, seeks to declare unconstitutional the slating system used to elect Indianapolis judges.

In setting the conference, Lynch said counsel for named parties are expected to appear in person and “must have thorough knowledge of the case.” The judge indicated that their clients could attend, but were not required to do so.

Common Cause and the ACLU are challenging the “slating” system in Marion County. Under the slating system, the Democrat and Republican parties each nominate or slate judges to fill a fixed and equal number of judgeships that the law assures each party of filling. The complaint seeks to block future enforcement of I.C. 33-33-49-13.

“The failure of Indiana law to permit registered voters in Marion County to cast a meaningful vote for all seats on the Marion Superior Court violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the complaint says.

The system has been derided by many as corrupt. Those who earned their party’s blessing and were slated in 2012 also each gave generously to their respective parties, an Indiana Lawyer review of campaign finance records found. For Democrats, the contribution was $13,100; for Republicans, $12,000.

The conference is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 17 in room 227 of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis.

The case before Chief Judge Richard Young in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana is Common Cause Indiana v. Indiana Secretary of State in her official capacity, Individual Members of the Indiana Election Commission, in their official capacities, Governor of the State of Indiana, in his official capacity, 1:12-cv-1603-RLY-DML. Young in September dismissed the state’s motion to dismiss the suit.

“Although Indiana’s ballot access statute … has been found constitutionally adequate … the court is not convinced that the statute’s constitutionality with respect to a candidate’s access to the ballot applies here with equal force, where the claim is not ballot access, but whether a citizen’s vote in the general election matters,” Young wrote.








 
 

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  • Not Slating
    Unfortunately the lawsuit is not about "slating." It's about the law that says that everyone who wins the primary wins the general election. Slating is pre-primary. There is a lot of problems with it but it's not an issue in the lawsuit.
  • Not Slating
    Unfortunately the lawsuit is not about "slating." It's about the law that says that everyone who wins the primary wins the general election. Slating is pre-primary. There is a lot of problems with it but it's not an issue in the lawsuit.

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  1. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  2. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  3. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

  4. Well, I agree with you that the people need to wake up and see what our judges and politicians have done to our rights and freedoms. This DNA loophole in the statute of limitations is clearly unconstitutional. Why should dna evidence be treated different than video tape evidence for example. So if you commit a crime and they catch you on tape or if you confess or leave prints behind: they only have five years to bring their case. However, if dna identifies someone they can still bring a case even fifty-years later. where is the common sense and reason. Members of congress are corrupt fools. They should all be kicked out of office and replaced by people who respect the constitution.

  5. If the AG could pick and choose which state statutes he defended from Constitutional challenge, wouldn't that make him more powerful than the Guv and General Assembly? In other words, the AG should have no choice in defending laws. He should defend all of them. If its a bad law, blame the General Assembly who presumably passed it with a majority (not the government lawyer). Also, why has there been no write up on the actual legislators who passed the law defining marriage? For all the fuss Democrats have made, it would be interesting to know if some Democrats voted in favor of it (or if some Republican's voted against it). Have a nice day.

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