Home Uncategorized Alabama Supreme Court Rules 7-2 that Secretary of State Has No Duty to Examine Constitutional Qualifications of Presidential Candidates
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Alabama Supreme Court Rules 7-2 that Secretary of State Has No Duty to Examine Constitutional Qualifications of Presidential Candidates

On March 21, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Alabama Secretary of State has no duty to examine the constitutional qualifications of presidential candidates. McInnish and Goode v Bennett, 1120465. Here is the Opinion.

The case originated in state court on October 11, 2012. It was filed by individuals who asserted that the Secretary of State should not print any presidential candidate on a primary or general election ballot without first determining if the candidate meets the constitutional qualifications. The court majority refused to issue an opinion. However, two justices wrote separately to say explain why they believe the plaintiffs should not prevail. Justice Michael F. Bolin wrote a 25-page opinion, saying that nothing in Alabama law requires the Secretary of State to investigate presidential qualifications. That opinion also says the plaintiffs should have filed the case much earlier. Justice Tommy Bryan wrote a two-page opinion agreeing with Justice Bolin.

Chief Justice Roy Moore wrote a 44-page dissent, which expresses the opinion that the Secretary of State took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution, and that oath implies that, as chief election officer, she had a responsibility to examine the qualifications of all presidential candidates. Justice Tom Parker wrote a 3-page dissent, agreeing with Moore, except that the Secretary’s duty is only to examine qualifications after a challenge has been filed.

All justices seemed to agree that the plaintiffs had standing. That is because one of the plaintiffs is Virgil Goode, who was on the Alabama general election ballot as an independent presidential candidate. Generally, courts find that candidates have standing to challenge the qualifications of their opponents. Thanks to Bill Van Allen for this news.

8 Responses

  1. The decision was correct, because the “residential candidate” is not the person the voters vote for, despite appearances or expectations. They vote for a slate of electors who happen to be pledged to or labeled by the name of some presidential candidate, but only the qualifications of the elector candidates is relevant or subject to challenge. Until they are elected and cast their ballots for president, the presidential candidate is only hypothetical, and could be anyone. It is only after the electors cast their ballots and the ballots are being counted that anyone can have standing to challenge their choices.

    • Richard Winger

      That is correct.
      However, the plaintiffs also are concerned about names on presidential primaries.

      • Makes no difference. In a primary as in the general election voters are not voting for the candidate to whom the electors are pledged, but for the electors. The “candidate” could be “undecided”, leaving the decision to the electors, but “undecided” doesn’t have to have the qualifications of president. It is only at the point the electors cast their votes that the eligibility of the candidate comes into play.

    • Jim Riley

      In Texas, independent and write-in presidential candidates personally file in their own name, with the vice-presidential and elector candidates consenting to their inclusion. Texas could require all 40 candidates to demonstrate their qualification for the various offices they seek.

      Texas could require personal filing by party candidates, which would require the additional consent of the political party that supports their candidacy. And independent candidates might have an equal protection claim if Texas left open this potential loophole.

  2. Demo Rep

    Too many MORON lawyers and judge to count.

    See Art. VII of the nearly dead USA Const – about the nature of the USA Const.

    See Amdt XX, Sec. 3 about Prez qualification stuff.

    i.e. The sovereign State regimes all have standing to have the USA Const enforced (requirements and restrictions) – esp regarding the qualifications of ALL USA officers in ALL branches of the USA govt.

  3. Demo Rep

    More – the gerrymander hacks in the Congress only count the votes in the 12th Amdt and have NO judicial power to rule on a Prez/VP qualifications.

    See the specific exception language in Art. I. Sec. 5, para. 1 regarding the gerrymander hacks having judicial power to rule on the qualifications of the members in each house — due to the OLDE Parliament vs. rotted monarchs stuff in England (i.e. the king appointing hack judges).

    THUS – the States should go to a FEDERAL court to have it rule on Prez/VP qualifications.

    Again – place of birth means ZERO.
    It is the nation-state allegiance of the father the second the kid is born (which the kid instantly gets).

    i.e. NO foreign regime folks allowed to be a USA President — i.e. esp. NO foreign monarch/oligarchtypes as in Europe in 1787.

    Much too difficult for the armies of morons doing ALL of the Obama natural born citizen cases.

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