Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutional
by Todd Beeton, Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 06:37:13 PM EDT
Today U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled Michigan's presidential primary law unconstitutional because of a provision that would give the list of voters' partisan preferences from the Jan. 15th primary election to the Democratic and Republican parties only. The AFL-CIO brought the suit in January on behalf of the Green, Libertarian and Reform parties and the judge agreed with them that it infringed upon their constitutional rights. While the Clinton campaign had hoped the judge would order a re-vote as a remedy, she did not and in fact insisted that her decision had absolutely no bearing on the presidential election at all.
Since the judge made no effort to address the disenfranchisement of Michigan from the primary process, the Clinton campaign took the opportunity to call for a state-run primary re-vote.
"In the wake of today's court ruling regarding Michigan's January 15th primary, we urge Senator Obama to join our call for a party-run primary and demonstrate his commitment to counting Michigan's votes."
But does her ruling really have no bearing on the nomination battle? At least one Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson thinks this decision actually puts the nail in the coffin of the re-vote prospects altogether since it bars the Secretary of State's office from handing over the lists that would be needed for a re-vote to occur.
"We need those lists to prevent people who voted in the Republican primary from voting in the Democratic do-over. Those are DNC rules," said spokeswoman Liz Kerr, referring to the Democratic National Committee. "This is basically the final straw in preventing us from having a do-over election."
But are those the DNC rules? Marc Ambinder calls bullshit. Is this statement perhaps tipping Howard Dean's hand? Hmm, wonder of this is the sort of thing that Harry Reid meant when he said "things are being done" to make sure the nomination ends well before the convention.
[editor's note, by Todd Beeton]Liz Kerr is a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, not the DNC, so there's really no reason to think she's channeling Dean here, but rather communicating the message that as far as the MDP is concerned a re-vote is dead.