I found a copy of Texas AG Greg Abbott’s Amicus brief here. It’s an incredibly boring read. Now I remember why I didn’t change my major to pre-law after I took that Constitutional Law class way back when. It was an upper division class, but three weeks into the course I discovered that I was surrounded by law students who were auditing the class because the prof was actually a famous litigator. I didn’t know him from Adam and can’t recall his name.
Anyway, when you wade through all the verbiage it comes down to this: there is no time test in the AG’s argument. Besides that, his argument for filing the brief reveals that the AG is nothing but a politically motivated kibitzer. Small surprise.
The AG’s brief relies heavily on Jones v. Bush a suit filed by someone who challenged Dick Cheney’s eligibility to become Vice President, because of his residency. The 12th Amendment to the constitution changed the way we elect the president and vice president. Before 1804 the vice president was the guy who came in 2nd in the presidential election. A wholly bad idea that the 12th amendment corrected to what we have today. But there is a requirement that the president and vice president must come from different states.
“The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves”.In Jones, the argument was that Dick and George were both residents of Texas, but Dick sought an end-around by doing exactly what Tom did; he moved back to his home state of Wyoming 5 months before the election.
Interesting. Dick, moved to Wyoming to become eligible, Tom moved to Virginia to become ineligible.
But here’s the kicker. There is no time requirement in the 12th Amendment. It does not specifically say by what time Dick needed to be a resident, just that he is. In TDP et al. v. Benkiser there is a date – must be a resident of the state on election day - and the date is the crux of one of TDP’s arguments. You can’t declare Tom ineligible before November 7, 2006 – election day. Gee. I guess they missed that.
Abbott, kibitz on your own time.
Secondary to this is the argument that Judge Sparks’ ruling declared a section of the Texas Election Code unconstitutional. Because of this, Abbott claims that he has a reason to file the Amicus. Tripe. Sparks never declared that section of the TEC unconstitutional. They fabricated a false and specious reason to file the brief. Fellow Texans, I hope they did this on their dime, and not on “company time”. But I am not an optimist here (See blog title).