10.12.2004

No injunction granted in debate case

From Michael Kielsky:

The Arizona Libertarian Party and co-plaintiff Warren Severin were represented by attorney David Euchner.

Arizona State University was represented by Carrie Brennan of the Attorney General’s office.

Commission on Presidential Debates was represented by Glen Hallman of the firm of Gallagher & Kennedy, physically in court, as well as Lewis Loss, General Counsel for the CPD by phone.

The judge started by ruling that the service was sufficient for purpose of notice of this hearing. Then, each side was given 30 minutes to argue the issue.

Euchner reserved 15 minutes of his argument for rebuttal, and argued the case based on the violation of Arizona’s Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 7, which prohibit gifts to private entities. He presented additional arguments based on the 1st Amendment, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and case law which was on point.

Carrie Brennan argued the doctrine of laches (that the delay in bringing this suit worked an unfairness against the defendants). She further argued that the funding was provided by private parties, that there is great value to the University in hosting this, and that case law provides that such expenditures are allowed as long as they are not excessive or unreasonable.

Finally, she stated that there is an adequate remedy for any violations of the constitutional gift clause, therefore injunction is not appropriate.

Glen Hallman argued that Libertarians are not a special protected class, thus only a rational basis test applies to the equal protection argument, and using that test, the Libertarians were not discriminated against.

Lewis Loss argued that the CPD is non-partisan, and that Bush & Kerry would not proceed if Badnarik were admitted to the debate.

Euchner then rebutted, arguing that nobody remembers the location of the debates, and thus there is no value to the University in this expenditure, in other words, it is a gift to these two parties. As an example, Euchner argued that the only way debates are even remembered for any time is if they are parodied, such as on Saturday Night Live, and the rerun repeatedly. Further, even with a rational basis test on the equal protection clause, the judge should find for the Libertarians, because the discrimination is so blatant.

At the conclusion of the arguement, the judge issued his ruling from the bench:

1. No restraining order, because of the doctrine of laches, and that there appears to be sufficient public purpose for this debate.

2. The Plaintiffs may continue to pursue damages for any violations of the constitutional provisions.

In summary, we couldn’t stop the debates or get Badnarik in, but we may still be able to hold them accountable through damages.



Yours truly,
Mr. X

...disappointed...

Debate Lawsuit Update

There will be a hearing this morning in Maricopa Superior Court on an order to show cause issued against Arizona State University and the Commission on Presidential Debates. Each side will be given 30 minutes for oral argument. See all of the related lawsuit documents
at The L Factor.

Here's hoping that David Euchner, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, is persuasive and that we see Michael Badnarik on stage tomorrow night where he belongs.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...let Badnarik debate...

10.05.2004

Hijacking Media for Badnarik

Last Friday, the Libertarian Party of Arizona filed a lawsuit against Arizona State University and the Commission on Presidential Debates, alleging that the University's sponsorship of the October 13th debate amounts to an illegal campaign contribution to Bush and Kerry.

David Euchner, the self-described "gonzo lawyer" who filed the suit, has written an article at Liberty for All answering some criticisms of the suit.
The complaint is available online at www.badnarik.org and elsewhere. (A copy of the signed complaint is available on the Internet here.) There is solid legal basis for it; we allege violation of two provisions of the Arizona Constitution that prohibit state gifts or loans to private individuals or corporations, and in so doing the state subdivision has violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The AZLP brought the suit in the name of its 17,429 registered voters and named its Treasurer Warren Severin individually. In addition to ASU, we also name the Commission on Presidential Debates as a Defendant; after all, they accepted the illegal donation.

As far as I know, the complaint was on today's docket. Regardless of the result, we've already won. As Euchner points out:
So this time we had to buy front-page media coverage. It cost $205, the price of a filing fee in Maricopa County Superior Court. For that price, we got our "government number", and now the media is allowed to cover us. Some are asking me whether I think we'll win. WE ALREADY WON. WE WON THE MOMENT WE FILED.

In other news, a media tip I sent to the Badnarik campaign about a sympathetic reporter in New York appears to have born fruit. On the front page of today's New York Sun was an article entitled "Election Spoiler May Turn Out to Be a Libertarian. It's one of the best and most in depth articles I've seen yet, describing why Badnarik has so much momentum:
"So many people who lean Libertarian have been arguing for years that the only effective thing to do is to work in the Republican Party," the editor of Ballot Access News, Richard Winger, said. "All those people ... have been rebuffed by what Bush does in terms of deficit spending and starting the war."

Mr. Winger said the anti-war message has been adding momentum to Mr. Badnarik's campaign. "He's certainly more opposed to U.S. involvement in Iraq than Kerry," Mr. Winger said.

If we never give up, we never lose.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...back to studying...