How badly does Tom DeLay want to avoid running again for his seat? He’s taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court: a statement just out from the Texas Republican Party says they will appeal today’s ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The full statement is below.Here’s the full press statement of the Texas Republicans:
“The Republican Party of Texas intends to expeditiously appeal, to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 5th Circuit’s decision to force Tom DeLay, an ineligible candidate for Congress, to stay on the ballot in Texas Congressional District 22 as the Republican nominee.” says Tina Benkiser, Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
Texas law requires candidates, when they file for office, to swear that they will be eligible to serve on election day. If a candidate does something completely incomparable with that promise, such as moving to another state and voting in that state’s elections, as Tom DeLay has, then Texas law permits the Chairman of that political party to declare the candidate to be ineligible and, thereby, to require the candidate to reaffirm his eligibility, by stating that he intends to return to Texas by election day, if he intends to do so.
“The fundamental error of the federal court is that it ignored the fact that the Texas statute only shift the burden to the candidate to reaffirm his eligibility and thus is not a conclusive bar to his candidacy,” said James Bopp, Jr., attorney for the Republican Party. “Tom DeLay, of course, does not intend to return to Texas. He testified that he intends to live in Virginia indefinitely,” said Bopp.
“Further, the court held that the Texas Democrat Party could seek to control who is the nominee of the Republican Party,” said Bopp. “This is completely incomparable with a viable two party system. Furthermore, the Democrat Party wants to force Tom DeLay to withdraw, so that their nominee runs unopposed, or to force Tom DeLay to run, as the court has now decided, so that their nominee will be running against a candidate that is ineligible to serve. This makes a mockery of our democratic system and denies voters a meaningful choice.”