Thursday, August 24, 2006

Most of the following information was provided by Paul Lehto, Counsel for Jacobson and Ritt, the citizens in congressional district 50 who are contesting the June 6 election.

HEARING ON ELECTION CONTEST AND MOTIONS TO DISMISS IS AT 1:30 PM Friday, August 25, 2006, San Diego Superior Court, Dept 60, 330 Broadway, San Diego, CA, 92101 The Honorable Yuri Hofman, Judge. (more...)

Brief Summary:
BASED ON THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS FILED AUGUST 22, the defendants are effectively claiming that they took all power away from the people of San Diego's 50th District when Bilbray was sworning in during a rushed ceremony only 7 days after the June 6 election, because defendants now claim that this act deprived San Diego Superior Court of jurisdiction under Art. I, sec. 4 of the Constitution. But if this is true, then it is also true that Registrar of Voters Haas was powerless to certify the election itself, and thus the election legally never happened. A new election would thus have to be ordered.

More Detail: The defendants' position in their motion to dismiss is that the court is powerless (i.e. without jurisdiction) to do anything about this election contest, because Bilbray was sworn in on June 13, only 7 days after the June 6 election, and long before the election was legally final and certified on or about June 29.

This premature termination of the election in the 50th Congressional District by the swearing in took place while votes were literally still being counted and provisional votes were still being counted, and also this premature swearing-in took place well before the 1% ballot audit required as part of the certification process was completed, and also occurred fully 16 days prior to the official certification of the results. But the defendants strongly argue that this court can do nothing, because the swearing in of Bilbray transferred jurisdiction exclusively to the House of Representatives, who they say has the "exclusive" right to determine the "qualifications" of its members pursuant to Art. I, sec. 5 of the United States Constitution (the "Qualifications Clause" of the US Constitution). However, it follows from this "no jurisdiction" argument on account of the "exclusive jurisdiction" of the House of Representatives, that the defendant's premature swearing-in at the command of Washington DC politicians also necessarily means that there is no power and no jurisdiction for defendant Registrar Haas to certify the results of the election, either. The swearing-in simply terminated the election in mid-count.

Consequently, the defendants arguments about the court's lack of power also mean that this uncertified election does not legally exist, it legally never happened and never became final because the election has never been certified at a time when anybody in San Diego had any power to do anything about it (prior to June 13, the swearing-in). Because no election is decided or over until it's officially certified, this election was purportedly decided in Washington DC, and never decided in San Diego's 50th Congressional District, where it was supposed to be decided by election. THere having been NO RESULT certified in the 50th congressional district that had the power of law behind it, the defendants' position, if adopted, would require the recognition that the Brian Bilbray was never elected by the people of San Diego's 50th Congressional District to Congress. He was simply selected, and sworn in.


June 6 Congressional election in Busby/Bilbray race

June 13 Bilbray sworn in to House of Representatives, votes still being counted, audit not yet started

June 30 election certified by Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, after audit completed

August 22 Defendants file a brief and move to dismiss stating that because Bilbray is sworn in, the Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever and the House has exclusive jurisdiction to judge who its members are and the qualifications of those members.

Paul Lehto

There's much more at

(obligitory disclaimer: I volunteer to update the website at - terry)


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