Thursday, December 27, 2007

Republican Follies at the Court of Appeals

Remember all those Republican posters from the 2000 election which said "Sore-Loserman". Republicans endlessly moaned that going to court was a failure to accept the will of the people. Not to mention bad sportsmanship.

Times have changed.

The GOP now embraces Sen. Joe Lieberman (no longer D but not quite R-CT). They also think going to court is now just a grand idea. Having lost in the legislature, Maryland Republicans are now going to court to overturn the results of the special session.

No, they don't dispute something important--like if the votes were accurately counted. Instead, the lawsuit relies on one of those legal technicalities which Republicans like to decry. The heart of the lawsuit is that the Senate unlawfully adjourned for more than three days without the consent of the House of Delegates.

Of course, one doesn't exactly recall a cry rising up from the Republican benches of the General Assembly at the time. However, as reported in the Baltimore Sun, they now they see fit to take up the time of the Maryland court system with this lawsuit which would have no real impact even if the GOP managed to win:

But Dan Friedman, author of a book on the Maryland Constitution, said courts are historically loath to probe the provenance of legislative records. "Under the separation of powers, they don't dig in," he said. "Courts will presume in these procedures that the legislature is following the rules."

Even if there were procedural irregularities involving the adjournment's consent, Friedman predicted the courts would not allow the plaintiffs to exploit them to reverse major legislation.
And they wonder why the people of Maryland turfed them out in 2006.