Just saw the Palm Beach County Judge David Crow live giving his ruling on Allen West's motion for an injunction regarding his apparent defeat in Florida's 18th Congressional district against Patrick Murphy...pardon my disjointed narrative, but I was attempting to type as Judge Crow was speaking, and am reconstructing the general bits of his ruling as I go. Here's the gist of what he said was the basis of his denial of the injunction:
There are requirements with regard to injunctive relief as it is rarely granted, and only under circumstances where the plaintiff has proved the requirements that he would suffer irreparable harm, that he can prove the merits, and that it would service public purpose.
Judge Crow stated that not only has he not proved these requirements, but that the Affidavits provided as part of his motion were "woefully short" of what would be required for an injunction.
More below the orange Squiggle of Justice.
UPDATES have been added at the bottom of the diary.
Judge Crow also indicated that because the results have not even been certified yet by the Secretary of State, this kind of action on West's part is "entirely premature". Additionally, he stated that it is not his, nor any other court's place to dictate the manner and method of conducting an election, but rather it is a legislative function. The judge does not have the power to substitute what he believes should be the procedures rather than what procedures the legislature has put into place.
Should the plaintiff (West) wish to pursue this once the official counts have been reported, there are clear legal remedies by legal statute and executive procedures following elections. West would have 10 days to lodge a protest after the election results have been certified, if he chooses to do so, and it would be through the Secretary of State, and not the court.
To conduct a recount based upon what was presented to the judge, the affidavits "woefully failed to present evidence for an injunction contingent", they are premature, have no underlying action, and constitute no irreparable harm to the plaintiff.
His ruling is that "the injunction is denied."
Additional note: The judge also referenced West's mention of "improper conduct", but the judge basically said there are already remedies in place for him to lodge protests that would also encompass these allegations as well....once the damn election's actually been certified in the first place! Obviously, my characterization of what the judge said, but there you go. :)
UPDATE: Per a comment below, I've added that this is the Palm Beach County judge that made this ruling. West's attorneys also filed in St. Lucie County as well, and that hearing I believe has yet to take place. I'll update when I can.
UPDATE X2: Thanks for the rec list, guys. Total serendipity, I think....but I was so tickled to share this information with everyone. There really hasn't been any national reporting of the fact that West has not yet conceded, and was in fact taking legal action. The only coverage I've seen has been local to South Florida.
UPDATE X3: From the Palm Beach Post:
A Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge today denied U.S. Rep. Allen West’s motion to impound ballots and voting machines from his apparent narrow loss to Democrat Patrick Murphy in the District 18 congressional race.For his part, Patrick Murphy is asking supporters for contributions to assist in protecting his win should further legal action be required. His website is here.
Judge David Crow said the West campaign’s motion was “premature” because official results have not yet been posted. Crow also said it is not the court’s role to set elections procedures. Those procedures already require securing ballots and other materials in case there is a recount.
A lawyer for West said that despite losing in court, “We’re very happy” because a lawyer for the Palm Beach County elections office gave assurances that process will be transparent.
The attorney for the elections office, Ken Spillias, said the measures sought by the West campaign are “already being done.”
Holding onto a razor-thin edge with all precincts reporting, Murphy started a three-day, three-county "thank-you" tour Thursday at his Palm Beach Gardens headquarters. The Jupiter Democrat said he was confident with his lead in District 18 and plans to go to Congress's freshman orientation in Washington next week.
UPDATE X4: I'd like to add that Surly Cracker also has a great post on these events, some terrific information regarding the legal statutes involved, and a link to donate through Act Blue towards Patrick Murphy's efforts to protect his win.
Per Surly Cracker's diary:
In the meantime, I'll restate my appeal to anyone reading this to PLEASE consider kicking in a small donation to help with the legal fight that may be coming here.