New Haven Democratic Party Refuses to Expel Senator Lieberman

Connecticut election law permits a political party to expel a registered member of that party, for “disloyalty.” The decision is in the hands of the party’s Registrar of Voters, for the town in which the individual lives. On August 25, New Haven’s Democratic Registrar of Voters refused to expel U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. Lieberman lives in New Haven. There is no legal recourse for anyone who is unhappy with the Registrar’s decision. Some Democrats in New Haven had asked the Registrar to expel the Senator, but she has now rejected that request.

Pennsylvania Parties Will Ask for Rehearing

The three qualified minor parties of Pennsylvania will ask the 3rd circuit for a rehearing in the ballot access case that lost on August 23 (Rogers v Cortes). The request will point out several significant factual errors in the decision. The decision erroneously said that non-qualified parties are not permitted to list several nominees (for different offices) on a single petition, whereas the qualified minor parties may do so. This is untrue; both the qualified and unqualified minor parties are permitted to list multiple candidates on a single sheet.

Although this may sound like an insignificant point, the 3rd circuit depended on that point for the decision’s rationale. The key question in the lawsuit is, if the qualified parties met the vote test in the last election, what reward do they get for meeting it? They don’t get ballot access. The Court was trying to explain that the system is somehow rational, so they came up with the idea that the parties get rewarded by being permitted to list multiple candidates on a petition. But, that can’t be right, since even the unqualified parties enjoy the same perk.

Another factual error in the decision was that in the past, the signature requirement has been “between 30,000 and 50,000 in the past”. Actually, it has been below 26,000 in all years 1994 through 2004. In 2002 it was 21,028; and in 2000 it was 21,739. This is not such an important error, but it shows how sloppy the 3rd circuit’s decision is.