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Supreme Court rules Charlie White was eligible to assume office

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The Indiana Supreme Court has held that Charlie White was eligible to assume the office of secretary of state after being elected to that post in the 2010 general election. The justices point out the average voter was aware of concerns surrounding White’s voter registration history and they will not, on the basis of the petition before them, “judicially disenfranchise voters who went to the polls.”

A 20-page opinion released Thursday morning reverses a Dec. 22 decision by Marion Circuit Judge Lou Rosenberg, which found that Charlie White was not eligible to take office following the November 2010 election because he had improperly registered to vote at an address where he was not living. The Indiana Democratic Party challenged his eligibility after the election, and the Indiana Recount Commission decided White could hold the office. But Rosenberg disagreed and ruled the second-highest vote getter should take the office. The state’s justices accepted transfer on the issue.

Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote the opinion in Charlie White, et. al. v. Indiana Democratic Party, through its Chairman , Daniel J. Parker, No. 49S00-1202-MI-73, finding the state Democratic Party’s post-election challenge was untimely and it should have challenged the voter registration matter before the election.

“Our conclusion is that the Code places a burden on political campaigns to investigate and vet their opposition before the pre-election time limitations expire, but that is better than the alternative: that a challenger might ignore a known (or knowable) disqualification challenge before the election, wait to see who won at the polls, and then seek to set aside the results of the democratic process. Such a result is inconsistent with free elections and respect for voters’ expressed preferences.”

Justice Brent Dickson concurred in result, but wrote separately to say that he agreed with the election contest being dismissed because he sees the Legislature’s attempt to impose additional eligibility qualifications on candidates as unconstitutional and not a basis to contest someone’s eligibility for office.

This appeal doesn’t involve any aspect of a separate criminal case against White, which led to his convictions on voter fraud in February, a one-year sentence of home detention, and his removal from office.




 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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