ILNews

Supreme Court will hear candidate certification dispute

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The candidacy of a Cass Circuit judge is now going before the Indiana Supreme Court - even though the candidate in question has been a sitting judge for this entire year.

Justices have granted transfer in J. Bradley King, et al. v. Leo T. Burns, et al., 09A02-0610-CV-847, which questioned the candidacy of judicial office-seeker Leo Burns in last year's primary and general election.

Burns, who was selected to fill the vacancy in the November 2006 ballot after the May primary, was not certified by the state because the Democratic county chair filed documents at the wrong office and didn't get the necessary notices to the state for Burns' name to go on the ballot. Despite the filing error, Burns gained an injunction in September ordering the state to certify his candidacy. The Indiana Election Division appealed Cass Circuit Judge Julian Ridlen's ruling and the Court of Appeals denied that Jan. 31.

In the meantime, however, Burns' name appeared on the ballot and he won in the Nov. 7 election over a Republican rival.

The three-judge appellate panel in January wrote, "We decline to disenfranchise the voters of Cass County by overturning their decision that Burns should be their circuit court judge, based on a technical violation of a law that had no practical effect on the validity of the Nov. 7, 2006 general election."

Noting that the election division could point to no practical consequences of Burns' form being filed incorrectly, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

"Burns clearly was the Democratic Party's chosen candidate .... That choice was communicated accurately to Cass County voters. They elected Burns to office. He is qualified to hold that office," the court wrote. "The 'eminently practical doctrine' formerly known as 'de minimis non curat lex' .... Proclaims that the law does not redress trifles."
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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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