Man Without Qualities

Monday, October 07, 2002

The Last Katherine Harris Post

Prior posts have addressed the Florida election law involved in accusations made in much of the media that Katherine Harris failed to comply with the Florida "resign to run" statute. As noted in those posts, this exact issue was considered in Florida court litigation in which Ms. Harris prevailed.

The decision of the Florida Circuit Court that cleared the way for Ms. Harris' appearance on the Florida ballot can be found here (link e-mailed by a helpful reader).

The court's statement of facts includes a rather precise description of the "notice of resignation" misreported by much of the media as a "back dated resignation," thereby confirming that all reports that Ms. Harris submitted a "back dated resignation" are just wrong. The whole decision is interesting (as election law goes). The kernel of the court's holding is:

Based upon the undisputed facts of this case and applying well established legal precedent, this Court finds that Harris did not comply with the mandatory resignation requirement of [the provision of Florida election law requiring a state officer to send a resignation]. However, her non-compliance was statutorilly foregiven by operation of [the provision of Florida election law automatically effecting resignation of a candidate who runs for federal office]. She has qualified for the primary election and shall not be removed as a candidate for the election to the 13th Congressional seat.

The decision also briefly reviews the history of state "resign to run" statutes and their periodic friction with the federal Constitution, especially provisions setting qualifications of federal Representatives and Senators - the same provisions that were involked by the Supreme Court to overturn state term limit laws.

Comments: Post a Comment