The citizen’s committee seeking the authority to recall a United States Senator is carefully considering their options in the wake of an unfavorable decision by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
RoseAnn Salanitri, head of the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez from the Office of United States Senator, informed this Examiner this morning that she is trying to arrange a meeting, at a venue to be arranged, this Tuesday evening (November 23). On the agenda for that meeting will be:
- The massive opinion of the Court, including a 77-page majority opinion and a 65-page dissent.
- Whether and when to petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Lead Counsel Andrew L. Schlafly has already told Statehouse Bureau Correspondent Peggy Ackerman that the Recall Committee has 90 days to file such a petition.
- Fundraising to pay for court costs, especially for a Supreme Court argument.
Yesterday the State’s highest court voted 4-2 to reverse an earlier Appellate Division decision and to say that the Secretary of State need not approve a Notice of Intent to recall Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). In so doing, the Court said that certain language in the New Jersey State Constitution, and in the Uniform Recall Election Law based upon that language, is invalid and can have no force. Specifically, while the power to recall the Governor and any elected official in New Jersey remains intact, New Jersey’s voters may not recall a United States Senator (and presumably, would not be allowed to recall a United States Congressman, either, if anyone were to try).
This is the first time in history that the Supreme Court of New Jersey has actually invalidated parts of its own Constitution. That explains part of the outrage that Justices Roberto Rivera-Soto and Helen E. Hoens expressed in their dissenting opinion.
The Star-Ledger (Newark) Editorial Board left this scathing editorial that actually repeated an argumentum ad hominem (or perhaps that should be argumentum ad feminam) concerning Salanitri’s belief “that dinosaurs and man once trod the earth at the same time.” Salanitri does host a web site (Creation Science Alive) devoted to publicizing facts relating to the origins of the earth, and life on it, that most people might not know. As of this posting, that editorial had drawn seven comments, many from commenters who felt that Salanitri’s creation beliefs were irrelevant to the legal and constitutional issues she is raising.
A number of commenters on Peggy Ackerman’s piece suggested that the Tea Party movement sought the recall because they were disgruntled with the election results. In fact, the Uniform Recall Election Law allows voters to recall an elected official for any reason or no reason. Salanitri and Richard T. Luzzi, co-counsel to the committee, have previously told this Examiner that they initiated the recall process last year because they knew that 2010 was the year of Senate Class III, and neither Senator would be standing for re-election. Menendez will in fact stand for re-election in 2012, and Frank R. Lautenberg will so stand in 2014, barring a recurrence of his gastric lymphoma.
(A few commenters repeat the persistent canard that the Tea Party Movement has large outside corporate funding. This Examiner has found no evidence of that, and suggests that those making such statements are throwing off on the Tea Party Movement, while failing to acknowledge Hungarian billionnaire George Soros’ sponsorship of multiple organizations arrayed in opposition to the Tea Party Movement.)
Cynthia Burton of The Philadelphia Inquirer also ran a piece on the recall ruling. As of this posting, that piece had drawn two comments, both lamenting the ruling, though one asked cynically whether anyone could expect the New Jersey Supreme Court to rule in any other manner, after they had bent election law to allow Frank Lautenberg to substitute himself at the last minute for the disgraced Robert G. Torricelli in the 2002 Senate race.
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