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Criticizing the Court Opinion in the California Recall Election case

By September 16, 2003politics

Bill Dyer of BeldarBlog, a former US 5th Circuit law clerk, has some stinging criticism of the writing in the Ninth Circuit’s recent opinion postponing the California Recall Election. For example, he believes that harsh sanctions are in order for the law clerk who wrote this pretentious paragraph:

“In this case, Plaintiffs allege that the fundamental right to have votes counted in the special recall election is infringed because the pre-scored punchcard voting systems used in some California counties are intractably afflicted with technologic dyscalculia.”

Rick Hasen also has a complaint about some of the writing in the opinion. Meanwhile, Steve Covell thinks the opinion just doesn’t make sense:

“The recent delay of the California recall is yet another example of courts interfering where they do not belong. The supposed justification for ignoring California law and California voters is a spurious “study” that 40,000 voters might be “missed” if the older voting machines still used in some counties are not replaced.

It’s a funny thing, these same machines were used to elect Gray Davis. Why is it suddenly so important that all counties have the newer machines? Oh, that’s right, because there are supposedly a significant number of voters who can’t figure out the older punch ballot machines. In other words, there are voters who are just flat too dumb to figure out how to punch a hole through a piece of paper.”

More here from Eugene Volokh on the punch-card intelligence test. Whether you agree with these lawyers’ opinions, I think the lawyers out there will have to agree it’s more interesting to read these views than the pablum that passes for analysis on the major networks. And maybe some of the non-lawyers feel the same way.

Lastly, but not least, if you want some real in-depth legal analysis and blanket coverage of this issue go to this link and then read the rest of Rick Hasen’s weblog. He’s a law professor at Los Angeles Law School and an expert in election law. But he’s sort of involved in the case so you’ll have to filter for his possible bias, which he freely discloses. Also, check this post at Howard Bashman’s blog, and this one at Jack Balkin’s weblog.

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