Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

Michigan Officials Won’t Appeal John Conyers Ballot Slot

Michigan Officials Wont Appeal John Conyers Ballot Slot

Conyers will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The state of Michigan will not challenge a federal judge’s order to put Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. on the primary ballot.

“Based on the facts of the judge’s order, the state has decided not to appeal in the Conyers case,” Michigan Department of State spokesman Fred Woodhams said in a written statement.

Last Friday, Conyers’ hopes for appearing on the Aug. 5 primary ballot were all but lost. But then a federal judge ordered the state to put him on the ballot. Earlier this month, a county clerk ruled the 25-term ineligible to appear on Michigan’s 13th District ballot due to problems with his petition signatures.

Conyers reacted to the state of Michigan’s decision in a written statement:

“The state’s decision not to pursue this is a victory for the people of the 13th District and the State of Michigan. It allows them to exercise their democratic rights in a fair and impartial matter.”

“I’m glad that we can put this behind us, because it gives all of those who appreciate our political process an opportunity to focus on the issues that affect the people’s livelihood, the justice system and the promotion of peace in our time: in short, Jobs, Justice and Peace.”

The race is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.

  • Peter Millin

    If a law is in your way. Just change it. Laws are mostly overrated anyway, especially for politicians.

  • left wing

    laws do not apply to democrats and democrats win election with fraud.

    • terjeanderson

      The law in these case was unconstitutional. So it does not apply to Democrats – or to Republicans, or Libertarians, or independents, or tea partiers, or anyone else.

      The Supreme Court in 1999 ruled that it was unconstitutional to require petition gatherers to be registered voters. (That case was brought by a right wing advocacy group – and the ruling was made with a majority of Republican appointed judges).

      Conyers’ petitions were rejected only because the state of Michigan still had a law on the books requiring signatures to only be collected by registered voters. The judge looked at the Supreme Court decision, correctly realized it applied directly to this case, and put him back on the ballot. That’s why the Republican state government in Michigan decided not to appeal the ruling.

      I know right wingers claim to love the Constitution – but that sure doesn’t stop you from wanting to ignore it for partisan purposes when you don’t like what it says.

      • sam

        No it wasn’t, this is a Obama and Holder thing.

        • terjeanderson

          Really?

          The Supreme Court case American Constitutional Law Foundation vs. Buckley in 1999 that overturned Colorado’s law requiring petition gatherers to be registered voters didn’t provide the constitutional precedent here?

          Please, tell us what precedent doesn’t apply.

          And, while you’re at it, tell us why the Republican Michigan Secretary of State’s office decided not to appeal the ruling if it was “a Obama and Holder thing” – surely the Republican-majority Supreme Court would have heard their case, no?

          You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about – the legal and constitutional issues are what decided this case. You’re just so blinded by partisan rage that you can’t accept that simple reality.

          • bowhowdy2

            You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

          • Thirteen

            Then please, explain how the precedent applies.

            And while you’re at it, you can go into a little more detail about how “democrats win elections with fraud.” What elections do you claim democrats have won with fraud? Perhaps you could present your evidence that this is the case.

          • bowhowdy2

            “Kennedy won Illinois by less than 9,000 votes out of 4.75 million cast, or a margin of 0.2%.[37] However, Nixon carried 92 of the state’s 101 counties, and Kennedy’s victory in Illinois came from the city of Chicago, where Mayor Richard J. Daley held back much of Chicago’s vote until the late morning hours of November 9. The efforts of Daley and the powerful Chicago Democratic organization gave Kennedy an extraordinary Cook County victory margin of 450,000 votes—more than 10% of Chicago’s 1960 population of 3.55 million although Cook County also includes many suburbs outside of Chicago’s borders—thus barely overcoming the heavy Republican vote in the rest of Illinois. Earl Mazo, a reporter for the pro-Nixon New York Herald Tribune, investigated the voting in Chicago and claimed to have discovered sufficient evidence of vote fraud to prove that the state was stolen for Kennedy.”

          • Thirteen

            “I don’t think there’s much dispute about this one (below). It’s a while back, but it’s a fairly clear-cut case. “

            So clear cut is it, in fact, that when Republicans demanded a recount in Illionois, 40% of the redchecked Nixon districts turned out to have overcounted for Nixon. They didn’t like this result, so they took it to federal court, where their case was dismissed. Then they took it to the State Board of Elections, which also threw it out.

            A recount of cook county showed that it did indeed undercount Nixon – by 943 votes, which is quite a bit less than the 4,500 needed to overturn the county.

            A recount actually did change the winner of one state…Hawaii went from Nixon to Kennedy.

            But, hey, who am I to argue with bastion of unbiased observation Earl Mazo?

            Also, when I hear accusations of ‘democrats win elections by fraud’ I assume the speaker is referring to elections within the last fifty years.

            “FYI, I’m NOT a Republican, either”

            Great! Me either.

            Maybe you could tell me how the precedent doesn’t apply, now.

          • bowhowdy2

            Yawn, you’re putting me to sleep your blind faith in the socialist machine.

            I’ve got to rest up tonight as I’m traveling to visit one of the great bastions of Democratic successes tomorrow: Detroit, Mich. The mayor is giving me a tour to show me how liberal and “progressive” policies have helped the little people. Should take about 15 seconds or so.

            Saying Democrats are better than Republicans is like saying Hitler is better than Stalin. They’re still both evil.

          • Thirteen

            What ‘blind faith?’ What ‘socialist machine?’ The Ohio State Board of Election had a Republican majority, you nitwit, and the vote was unanimous.

            Do you even know what ‘socialist’ actually means? I kind of doubt you do, since it makes absolutely no sense in this context. What evil socialist conspiracy do you think actually took place here? You’d better have some extraordinary evidence, because that’s a rather extraordinary claim.

            Also, great comparison dude, Democrats are Hitler and Republicans are Stalin, that’s a totally reasonable approximation.

          • sidneyc

            So much for the Constitution giving the states the power to determine the times, places and manner of elections.

          • Thirteen

            Where was your outrage in 1999 when the Supreme Court made this decision, I wonder?

          • bowhowdy2

            “Kennedy won Illinois by less than 9,000 votes out of 4.75 million cast, or a margin of 0.2%.[37] However, Nixon carried 92 of the state’s 101 counties, and Kennedy’s victory in Illinois came from the city of Chicago, where Mayor Richard J. Daley held back much of Chicago’s vote until the late morning hours of November 9. The efforts of Daley and the powerful Chicago Democratic organization gave Kennedy an extraordinary Cook County victory margin of 450,000 votes—more than 10% of Chicago’s 1960 population of 3.55 million although Cook County also includes many suburbs outside of Chicago’s borders—thus barely overcoming the heavy Republican vote in the rest of Illinois. Earl Mazo, a reporter for the pro-Nixon New York Herald Tribune, investigated the voting in Chicago and claimed to have discovered sufficient evidence of vote fraud to prove that the state was stolen for Kennedy.”

          • terjeanderson

            Your issue isn’t with me – it is with the Rehnquist court.

            But, please, point out where what I’m saying is wrong.

          • sidneyc

            They didn’t appeal, because the Dems could nominate a ham in that district and it would win. What’s the point?

          • darthgidget

            thanks for the cite.

        • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

          i see what you did there

      • darthgidget

        too bad you didn’t cite to that supreme court decision. tells me you made it up.

        • terjeanderson

          Too bad you’re too lazy to do a simple web search.

          Try this: Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation, 525 U.S. 182 (1999).

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            and…. crickets

  • hugh59

    What a disgrace. What an absolute disgrace. I can remember several times here in Ohio where candidates did not get on the ballot because they had problems with their petitions.

    • darthgidget

      yeah,remember the republican who lost his seat for the same reason- invalid signatures kept him off the ballot. I guess the laws only apply to conservatives.

      • terjeanderson

        There is a huge difference between the McCotter and Conyers cases.

        Thaddeus McCotter was thrown off the ballot because his campaign submitted fraudulent petitions – it was full of forgeries, photocopies of petitions from previous campaigns, and hundreds of duplications. Four of his campaign staff were charged with crimes as a result.

        The only reason that Conyers’ petitions were rejected was that two of his gatherers were not registered voters – other than that, he submitted many more valid signatures than needed. Because the Supreme Court had already ruled that it was an unconstitutional infringement on free speech to require that petition gatherers be registered voters, the Michigan law that officials originally used to remove Conyers was invalid.

        The federal judge in this case correctly ruled based on an explicit and directly relevant Supreme Court precedent.

        But I guess the Constitution only applies when conservatives want it to?

  • Cpt. States

    It is impossible to integrate new ways of doing things into our civilization unless they can be first proven by some people as useful for the rest.

  • darthgidget

    another federal judge ignoring the law of a state to impose his own liberal rules. Why wasn’t this judge’s opinion part of the story? under what Constitutional provision did this judge decide that the state laws were unenforceable? Why doesn’t the judge just award the seat to Conyers- why have an election at all?

  • YONATAN C

    THE 2.6 MILLION UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES HAVE BECOME THE LOSERS IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION FIASCO. BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE FAILED THESE FAMILIES MISERABLY. THEY HAVE USED THESE FAMILIES AS BARGAINING CHIPS, AND FOR POLITICAL LEVERAGE, AND HAVE HELD THE EXTENSION BILL “HOSTAGE” IN THE SENATE FOR THE PASSED FIVE MONTHS. BOTH PARTIES HAD NO INTENTION TO PASS THE BILL, BUT JUST GACE LIP SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC AND PRESS. WHILE MILLIONS OF FAMILIES HAVE LOST HOMES AND EVERYTHING, THE POLITICANS NOW CLAIM THAT IT’S TOO LATE TO PASS THE BILL, AND HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT. IN THE COMING ELECTIONS I HOPE THE AMERICAN PEOPKE DO NOT FORGET AND THAT THEY VOTE THESE POLITICAL PARASITES FROM OFFICE, THEY ARE NOT WORTHY TO REPRESENT US.

  • John Kenner

    While today’s Internet technology enables the principles of morality, liberty, and prosperity to spread as never before, its imagery also unleashes the anti-social passion of envy from its moral cage.

    • terjeanderson

      It also unleashes ridiculous amounts of spam from idiots like you.

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