It does not look good for Tom DeLay and the Texas GOP.
Today was the big show for Texas Republicans who are vying to keep DeLay off the ballot and handpick his successor. And they lost
After the Democrats filed their initial suit, the GOP made a motion to move the case from state court to federal court. They thought they'd find a sympathetic friend there in Judge Sam Sparks, who was nominated to his position by Pres. George H. W. Bush in 1991.In his opinion
, Sparks doesn't sound like he was ever the least bit convinced by DeLay's scheme to be declared ineligible (we've posted the opinion for you to read here
Political acumen, strategy, and manufactured evidence, even combined with sound policy in mind, cannot override the Constitution. The evidence presented in this case provides no basis for [Texas Republican Chairwoman Tina] Benkiserâs declaration that Tom DeLay was not eligible to remain the nominee of the Republican Party under state or federal lawâ¦ there is no evidence that DeLay will still be living in Virginia tomorrow, let alone on November 7, 2006, the only day that matters under the Qualification Clause of the United States Constitution....
DeLay was chosen as the Republican nominee by the voters in the Republican primary, and he is still eligible to be the partyâs nominee. He may, of course, withdraw as is his right, but neither political parties, state legislatures, secretaries of state, nor the federal courts may rewrite the United States Constitution. [my emphasis]
The Republicans have ten days to file their appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. If they lose, DeLay might be forced to shame-facedly reenter the race -- or Democratic Nick Lampson will take the seat unopposed.*
: TPMm Reader WS points out that there is also a Libertarian candidate running for the seat, Bob Smither.