Thursday, September 13, 2012

Supreme Court orders opinions on necessity of GOP lawsuit

The Supreme Court Thursday issued an order requesting answers to a few questions.

Republicans are seeking judgment from the court on if, according to law, Republican candidates should have top billing on November’s Election Day ballot, and if Secretary of the State Denise Merrill overstepped her authority by denying that request.

Democrats counter, among other arguments, that the case should never have made it to the Supreme Court, and that’s exactly what justices asked attorneys to weigh in on.

The order reads: “Did the plaintiff, the Republican Party of Connecticut, have an available administrative remedy in the present case? If so, did the plaintiff’s failure to exhaust that administrative remedy deprive the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s declaratory judgment?”

The court asked counsel to prepare briefs answering that question, no longer than 15 pages, on or before Sept. 17, which suggests it may not rule until after those briefs are submitted.

If so, according to the spokesman for Merrill, the Secretary of the State’s office may violate state law.

Av Harris, Merrill’s spokesman said after oral arguments wednesday that there is a statutory requirement for the state to provide towns with the order of the ballot by Sept. 15, two days before the court’s deadline.

Harris said that, theoretically, a town could sue the state for violating that law.

Republican Party

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