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Kucinich Asks for Supreme Court Review of Texas Case

Dennis Kucinich and singer Willie Nelson at a 2004 campaign concert.(AP).

By Robert Barnes
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich yesterday asked the Supreme Court to prohibit the Texas Democratic Party from keeping him off the March 4th primary ballot because he refused to sign a loyalty oath.

Kucinich, supported by singer Willie Nelson, objected to a requirement from the Texas Democratic Party that says a candidate must agree to "fully support the Democratic nominee for president, whoever that shall be." Kucinich said that was an infringement on his First Amendment rights, and crossed out the oath while filing as a candidate. The party then refused to list him on the ballot.

Kucinich has not had much luck in the lower courts. A federal judge in Austin last week said the party has the right to require the oath, and yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declined to intervene.

Texas says it needs to start printing absentee ballots on Saturday.

According to the court's rules, emergency applications from the Fifth Circuit are assigned to Justice Antonin Scalia, who can either act on his own or refer the matter to the full court.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 17, 2008; 7:04 PM ET
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The question to ask: Why is the corporate Republican owned media whittling down the Democratic candidates to three?

Why is the media making up rules as to how many percentage points are needed to be included? I may be wrong, but aren't some of the Republican candidates in the single digit percents in the polls, yet they are included in the televised debates?

Where is the Democratic parties backbone?
Peolosi, Harry Reid....why aren't you calling out this hypocrisy of democracy and challenging the Republican demolition machine??????

Posted by: jmroyster | January 24, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I feel so sorry for Dennis K, butI believe he should do the honorable thing and stop his campaign with diginity, he should realize by now that he has no chance of winning,trying to make his voice heard without enough support is not doing the job of getting him the nomination, it's making him look like he has sour grapes.

I liked what Dennis had to say in his earlier debates,and he said some very good things when he was given the chance to express his views on the issues, but in reality, it's over for him now, he should go back to his regular job taht he did so well and let the two top Democratic contenders fight for the nomination; who has a better chance of winning the Presidency. This is not the time to try to prove a point or stand in the way of Democrats winning back the White House, I suggest that Dennis K. get behind another candidate who's views he feels lines up closer to his. Wasting campaign money in the courts to try and force his will make Dennis look bad, this is not the way to go.

I suggest giving the money he have left over from his campaign to the poor and needy; and not waste it on a loosing battle, that sounds more honorable and respectful to me.

Richarderson, Biden, and Dodd saw the writing on the wall and bowed out of the race with dignity, I believe it's time for Dennis to do the same.

Posted by: Lilly111 | January 20, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

What if Congressman Kucinich had signed the Texas Democratic Party's loyalty oath and done whatever he wanted following? What is it to "support the party nominee?" Would not one phone call to a deaf relative qualify?

Kucinich is a fairly eloquent and passionate FDR Democrat: precisely what our nation needs right now. However, his campaign probably could do a better job of picking battles. Texas is no New Hampshire.

Posted by: tmc0630 | January 19, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kucinich will not get my vote because his latest court challenges belong in the same category as many of President Bush's ill-fated "decrees", "signing statements", and "policies." Simply put, these mean wish to impose their view of the world on others without doing much of the "convincing" leg work. A President and/or candidate who does not understand the law and the Constitution (and relies on consultants to provide him/her "fighting material") wastes their resources and the court's resources.

1. Regardless whether leaving one off a ballot is good policy, the Democratic/Republican/Other Third parties are NOT government entities and thus First Amendment protections do not apply to their internal rules (e.g. Michigan Democratic delegates do not count because their primary violated rules). They can make their own rules as to who they wish to put on the ballot. If these gentlemen wish to start their own party and run their own primaries, more power to them. Unfortunately, it looks like they are willing to use the name of their respective parties on their terms only without compromise. Not necessarily a person I want as the President. Too much like Bush to me.

2. Mr. Kucinich and Mr. Paul receive my admiration for attempting to change the tenor of politics, however, they chose to join the major parties. Change the parties or local politics first, then try the National campaign. Sound too hard? Whining that they have the money? Boo-hoo. The parties have 200 years of history behind them. Why should I trust some third party or third party candidate only interested in getting the top political position in the nation (only in the interest of the people, of course, wink, wink) when they haven't convinced anywhere near a majority anywhere in the nation of their ideas. Just because a little less than 1% of a state of those who voted in a primary (read: not that many people) agree with one candidate doesn't mean we "must" listen. The approach Mr. Kucinich is as wrong as what he says he is trying to fight.

Sorry, this is still politics as usual, just a little different spin.

Posted by: junk | January 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

It is easy to see that there is not much difference between Democrates and Republicans when it comes to shutting the little guy out. When you are scared of a guy who garners no more than 3% you must not be very secure in your position. It is the little things that can cast big shadows. If Dem's are not more careful they may give away their advantage, once again. I am not saying this will do it but it is things of this nature that draws the question,"Are they really the agents of change they claim to be?"

If Edwards or Obama went proactive, for a guy they shouldn't be afraid of, it could be utilized (perceptively) as proof of having the mentality of change. But I could be wrong for Obama but Edwards needs something out of the norm to get it going again.

But why would anyone listen to me I do not even know what I want my MyPostID to be : )

Posted by: IamnotsurewhatIwouldlikeMyPostIDtobe | January 18, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Why would a Supreme court packed with Bush loyalists care about who gets on a Democratic Party ballot. Since they bow to Presidential power, they'll just declare a winner based on orders from GWB. It will be most interesting to hear their opinions on "wartime" Presidential Power when a Democrat gets elected in '08. They may just declare that, since Congress didn't declare war, that can't be the basis of extraordinary power. How convenient that they'll wait till after the election.

Posted by: thebobbob | January 18, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If I thought Kucinich had a chance, I'd vote for him. Ron Paul, I'd vote for him in a minute if he wasn't a crazy racist demogogue.

Posted by: esr11 | January 18, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

He can run for President. Just not as a Democrat in Texas. The parties should have a right to make whatever rules they want - if you want to belong to that party. -

Posted by: barnesclerk | January 18, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

One of the real problems of America is its absolute utter refusal to use the Constitution as a LIVIHG document. Indeed there are many things that are the Supreme Law of the land, including Geneva, that have been totally ignored during the Bush Administration. This requires imnpeachment hearings to get the US to COMPLY.

I am most concerned that Ron Paul, taking his orders from monied people, is actually Constitutional imperative by not pursuing impeachment proceedings - as most of his Congressional collegues are wont to do. Impeachment is the legal remedy for an illegal was, the Patriot Act, the end of respect for the Geneva convenstions which is a phenomena destorying our US military (as JAGs and Sr. military advisers predicted it would) and the US debt is monostrous, the dollar is crahing, the list goes on and on. The cost of not pursuing impeachment is phenomenally high.

The Supreme law of the land is BOTH Geneva and the Constitution and the only candidate that puts muscle into them is Dennis Kucinich.

Today I got an email saying that a "secret" billionaire is now bank rolling Dr. Paul and I find this incredibly frightening. I also see forces gathering to get revenge on all those who "thwart" his campaign or "smear" Dr. Paul. I watch with dismay all the internet propaganda techniques used online in this campaign. HE is not the ONLY one for "liberty" - nor is he "our last chance".

The Ron and the Paul Bearers show has only just begun and they aren't going to help Kucinich, nor uphold the Constitution. My advice: watch what they do, not what they say.

And since I'm on here - it truly disgusts me to see the unions sell Dennis out.

Posted by: ladybroadoak | January 18, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I strongly Support the Honorable Congressman from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich....

If you can register as a I decline to state, then how constitutional is it to say you have to be a loyalist to any party...

At least he is honest, and doesnot say one thing and do another...

That would like saying that everytime you do any public official work you have to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag....

What personal rights do we have...???

Where does it say in the United States constitution, that you or any member of Congress, needs to sign a loyalty oath???

I am sure that the Congressman Dennis Kucinch from Ohio, already took an oath, to uphold the United States Constitution, and I am sure he abides by that to best of his knowledge.....

I support Dennis Kucinich 200%

For all of you who want to vote intelligentlly, and on the issues may I suggest, that you go to vote

Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul are the only true, patriots, and constitutionalists...]

In case any one forgot, THe United States constitution is the Supreme law of the land....

Remember to vote for a presidential candidate that is beholden to the united States constitution, and the people who they serve, not large corporations....

A government of the people , by the people, and for the people.....

Rember to vote California primary February 5th 2008

and or go to vote

-byron from california...

Dennis Kucinich is the best candidate for president.

Posted by: listen_to_our_plea | January 17, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I would think that Justice Scalia might have some problems with the requirement that a candidate must swear his fealty to a party in order to be able to run for President. On the other hand, just the other day, the Supreme Court reluctantly but nevertheless unanimously upheld the right of the "party bosses" in New York to control who runs for judgeships at the trial court level. This loyalty oath to the Texas Democratic Party seems to be along the same lines, so I'm not expecting much. My opinion is that we should get rid of the two-party system and allow candidates to run without having to swear fealty to the party. It sounds like Communism to me, not Democracy.

Posted by: ajacobs | January 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Kucinich, much like Dr. Ron "No" Paul, is a unique individual. Willie is the kind of being that is recocgnized around the World, by just his first Name!
THAT, is POWERFUL! As Texas Royalty, Willie's opinion matters. As I have to argue that Mitt Romney and Huck are the best Statesmen, and that Dr. No would be an excellent addition to a Cabinet, I say:

Throw Dennis Kucinich in there as well!

Will Dennis and Dr. No always get their way? Probably not. But often what they say, needs to be heard, and seriously considered-possibly Modified! FACT-They BOTH speak for many Americans who never seem to get heard!
I believe Mitt Romney, and even the Huckster, WILL LISTEN!

Posted by: rat-the | January 17, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to lay odds on Scalia allowing Kucinich on the Democratic ballot as a spoiler?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

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