Bob Kerrey has won another round in court.
The Nebraska Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal made by the Nebraska Republican Party of Secretary of State John Gale’s ruling that Kerrey qualifies as a candidate in the Democratic primary for United States Senate May 15th.
Lancaster County District Judge Steven Burns upheld the Secretary of State’s ruling. The state Republican Party appealed directly to the Supreme Court. Nebraska Republicans contended that Kerrey should be disqualified, because he had not established residency in the state after living in New York for the past 12 years.
The Supreme Court ruled that it does not have the authority to grant the Republican Party’s appeal, because the deadline for the court to intervene in the Secretary of State’s certification of the primary ballot had passed. Secretary of State Gale completed the process of ballot certification Thursday afternoon.
In election cases, this court has no authority to grant relief where the Legislature has established by statute strict deadlines which must be met in order to guarantee that the state’s election process is safeguarded against uncertainty and disruption.
The Nebraskan Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson issued a statement:
“Simply put, we now have a New Yorker running for Senate in Nebraska because of a technicality. Bob Kerrey resorted to New York-style political tricks, filing at the eleventh hour and preventing Nebraska election officials and courts from having sufficient time under Nebraska law to determine whether he’s a legitimate candidate,” Fahelson said in a statement posted on the party’s Facebook page. “Today’s decision does nothing to change the fact that the Nebraska Secretary of State found that our complaint had merit and that Bob Kerrey failed to establish that he was a Nebraska resident at the time he filed for U.S. Senate. While we will consider further appeal, my initial reaction is to forgo such a challenge so as to permit the U.S. Supreme Court to spend its time and focus on declaring ObamaCare–legislation that Bob Kerrey says doesn’t go far enough–unconstitutional.”
The Kerrey campaign also issued a written statement after the Supreme Court ruling.
“Republican leaders sought an activist court decision of the worst kind – one that would have denied the right of voters to choose an elected official,” said Paul Johnson, Kerrey Campaign Manager. “These Republican leaders will now have to move on from denial and anger and accept the fact that they have to compete on the field. The time and taxpayer dollars they spent on these frivolous actions show how much they wanted to avoid that competition.”