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It is fairly obvious, and there are many many examples of "republican projection" – that is, you know what a republican has said/done/is guilty of just by what they are accusing others of doing.  Back in college, we used to call it "deny, deny, accuse" – where the accused would deny once, deny again but louder and then accuse the others of doing what they themselves were doing.

When it comes to "activist judges", it is quite ironic that republicans would have been shouting this for years, as the Supreme Court has 7 of the 9 current Justices appointed by a republican President, and the lower level courts have been stocked with ultra conservative and rightist judges, especially since 20 of the last 28 years have seen a republican Executive Branch, with the backing of the ultra right wing, doing the appointing.

They’ll talk about "activist judges" in Iowa no doubt, or wherever else it suits their narrow worldview.  Most interestingly is how these same republicans demand that ridiculous and sometimes frivolous positions be taken up by the same activist judges – or that these positions be accepted by judges when it would overturn either the will of the legislature or the will of the voters.

The will of the voters is the more interesting one because (1) the arguments generally are based on some standing that ultimately targets or disenfranchises a group of voters (that is usually and "coincidentally" a group that doesn’t vote their way) and (2) would end up disenfranchising every voter who voted because it would serve to overturn election results.

Call it a sore loser mentality.  Call it frivolous.  Call it hypocrisy.  Call it pathetic.  But whatever you do call it – you can call it the republican party way.

We have this going on in Minnesota, where Coleman wants the court to demand a revote, which has absolutely no legal basis:

Coleman, who now trails Franken, has proposed that the state vote again because of the closeness of the race...

[...]

More important, however, is the fact that there is simply no legal basis for holding a re-vote in Minnesota. There is no precedent, no statutory language, nothing. Essentially, the Coleman campaign is asking the court to make election law from the bench, ironic given Coleman’s attitude towards "activist" judges.

And of course, there is this going on in NY-20, where republican Jim Tedisco is looking to disenfranchise Democratic voters in certain counties – which would of course disenfranchise every voter who voted for Murphy.  There is also the little matter of Tedisco filing a lawsuit the morning of the election – just as the polls were opening:

This just in from someone who was in the courtroom, but Judge James Brands in Dutchess County has ruled that the counting of paper ballots can begin the day after tomorrow. This could be a significant loss for the Tedisco campaign who had argued that ballots should not be counted until at least April 13, the deadline for overseas ballots to be received. Why? Because it would appear that the Tedisco campaign was using phony "exit polls" to build a list of voters to challenge before those ballots could ever be opened and counted.

It should be noted that in NY-20, the judge who made this ruling was a republican.

While not necessarily something that has or will go to court, there is the absolute nonsense going on in Alaska where there are calls for Mark Begich to resign as Senator and have a revote - all because the republican Bush Justice Department screwed up the prosecution.  While this will likely go nowhere fast, it does show yet another example of "making shit up as you go along" when an election is held.  Of course, this also doesn't even consider the other nonsense that went on back in 2006 in places like NJ, where a bogus subpoena was issued very close to the election by Bush crony and current republican candidate for Governor, Chris Christie.  The sole purpose was to sway the election (thankfully it didn't) and it somehow got Christie off of the "to be fired" US Attorney list.  Would republicans have had a revote there if Menendez lost?

Back in 2004, in one of the closest races ever, Christine Gregoire beat Dino Rossi for Governor in Washington, after a state-mandated hand recount resulted in a narrow victory.  So what happened?  A lawsuit by republicans alleging fraud and illegal votes – which had no proof whatsoever that the outcome of the election would hinge on these votes (or that there was any evidence of fraud).   The judge in this case said it best, although this seems to be lost on the republican party:

"Unless an election is clearly invalid, when the people have spoken, their verdict should not be disturbed by the courts,"

And of course, there is the "mother of all activist judicial decisions" – Bush v. Gore.  Where Bush brought the case to the Supreme Court and the decision to override state rulings (the antithesis of federalism, which is espoused by those same Justices who installed Bush as President) was made in a decision where those ruling to install Bush as President indicated that it couldn’t even be cited as precedent.

Interesting how the high profile cases where the courts were asked to get involved are all when the republican is the sore loser.  Gore didn’t appeal to the Supreme Court.  Kerry didn’t sue, even though there was ample evidence of some sort of shenanigans in Ohio at a minimum.  Now, this doesn’t mean that there has never been a case where a losing Democrat has brought a suit – but it seems like this is (1) par for the course when a republican loses a close race (I will note that George Allen and Conrad Burns did the right thing by not prolonging their inevitable misery) and (2) based on arguments that don’t have any real legal standing but rather serve to deny a Democratic winner (both big and small "d") their rightful victory.

Originally posted to clammyc on Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 08:37 AM PDT.

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