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Jennifer Brunner vs. Jon Husted

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Jennifer Brunner vs. Jon Husted

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  • #304256

    Rocknrolloutlaws
    Participant

    Well, even under your analysis, the fault then lies not with Brunner, but with the people who brought the complaint to her/the Board of Elections in the first place.

    Once that complaint was made, some decision had to be reached, heck the Ohio Supreme Court even said as much. So, Brunner was stuck in the unenviable position of having to interpret conflicting statues. In terms of a fairness analysis then, it doesn’t seem fair to level claims of partisanship at her for doing what she was legally required to do.

    In the end there are two competing values, that which the law requires and that which is fair. A lot of the time the two coincide, but at times they don’t. And when that happens, the people who are stuck applying the law come off as unreasonable, or in some cases, partisan.

    #304257

    Rocknrolloutlaws
    Participant

    Ooops, double post.

    #304258

    berdawn
    Member

    We should just take over the Dispatch comments section for one day.

    #304259

    Patch
    Participant

    Has it been brought up where he pays his income tax?

    This would make the most sense to me.

    If he paid City and County income tax in Kettering and Montgomery, I think that should be enough to declare residency.

    #304260

    StowCbusCleveland
    Participant

    This seems like a tough call legally given that they both cited laws that seem to fairly explicitly back their claim, but an easy call on common sense. Let the guy keep his residency. Surely he isn’t the first or the last elected official who will spend significantly more time in his capital city than his district home. I hesitate to call it “overtly partisan” because I don’t feel I know the law well enough, but I do think it is a failure to consider some obviously relevant factors about his job, namely the need to spend a ton of your time in a place other than the one from which you were elected.

    #304262
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Rocknrolloutlaws wrote >>
    Well, even under your analysis, the fault then lies not with Brunner, but with the people who brought the complaint to her/the Board of Elections in the first place.
    Once that complaint was made, some decision had to be reached, heck the Ohio Supreme Court even said as much. So, Brunner was stuck in the unenviable position of having to interpret conflicting statues. In terms of a fairness analysis then, it doesn’t seem fair to level claims of partisanship at her for doing what she was legally required to do.
    In the end there are two competing values, that which the law requires and that which is fair. A lot of the time the two coincide, but at times they don’t. And when that happens, the people who are stuck applying the law come off as unreasonable, or in some cases, partisan.

    Well, she could have done like Blackwell and decided in favor of Husted. That may not have made her party happy, but it would have been the right thing to do. But if this is the way Brunner and the Democrats want politics to be, fine.

    #304263

    Cookie
    Member

    hugh59 wrote >>
    Well, she could have done like Blackwell and decided in favor of Husted. That may not have made her party happy, but it would have been the right thing to do. But if this is the way Brunner and the Democrats want politics to be, fine.

    Hahahaha, Blackwell as a paragon of nonpartisanship in election law. Good one.

    #304264

    joev
    Participant

    Bumping people out on a techincality is not really what democracy is about. In my eyes, Brunner has run her office in a very political way, just as Blackwell did. All the more reason to take away election oversight from an elected official’s duties.

    #304265
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Cookie wrote >>

    hugh59 wrote >>
    Well, she could have done like Blackwell and decided in favor of Husted. That may not have made her party happy, but it would have been the right thing to do. But if this is the way Brunner and the Democrats want politics to be, fine.

    Hahahaha, Blackwell as a paragon of nonpartisanship in election law. Good one.

    That is my point. Blackwell was not a paragon of nonpartisanship in election law but even he had the sense to refuse to knock someone off of a ballot on a technicality.

    #304266

    Mercurius
    Participant
    #304267

    Mercurius
    Participant
    #304268

    pez
    Participant

    Well, it looks like the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled in Husted’s favor:

    COLUMBUS — State Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, is a resident of Montgomery County and should be allowed to vote there, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, Oct. 6.
    The Montgomery County Board of Elections began investigating Husted’s residency after two complaints were filed in October 2008 questioning if he lived where he is registered to vote at 148 Sherbrooke Drive, Kettering.

    more…

    #304269
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    I just gave the Supreme Court opinion a quick read. The court ruled unanimously that Brunner and the Board of Elections erred in determining that Husted was eligible to vote in Kettering.

    As we have consistently held, “ ‘County boards of elections are of statutory creation, and the members thereof in the performance of their duties must comply with applicable statutory requirements.’ ” [Citations omitted].

    The election statutes address the cancellation of a voter’s registration with specificity. R.C. 3503.21(C) provides that “[t]he registration of a registered elector shall not be canceled except as provided in this section, division (Q) of section 3501.05 of the Revised Code, division (C)(2) of section 3503.19 of the Revised Code, or division (C) of section 3503.24 of the Revised Code.” Because Husted’s registration was not canceled pursuant to one of the prescribed methods, he has established his entitlement to the requested extraordinary relief.

    The Board of Election (and Brunner, when voting to break a tie) is limited in its ability to cancel a voter’s registration. Brunner and the Democrats on the Board chose to ignore those limitations in an effort to harm a political foe. It is sad that Brunner lacks the professionalism to put partisan games aside and do her job.

    #304271

    Rocknrolloutlaws
    Participant

    Oh give it a rest already.

    There is absolutely nothing in that opinion that suggests Brunner was being partisan. And yes, there was unanimity as to the result, but there was disagreement from several Justices about the individual sections of the opinion and the reason underlying the result.

    Simply because Brunner asserted a position that did not prevail does not mean she was doing so out of a desire to be partisan. As the opinion clearly stated, different sections of the residency statue were in conflict. Brunner chose to rely on one section, the Court on others. That’s how it works.

    #304272
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    I respecfully disagree. This is not how it works. I read opinions and have given advice to office holders for a living. The court is being very professional. But it is darned embarrassing when the court says that a certain action can only be taken if one of four factors are present, and none of those factors are present.

    Here are some more information rich parts of the opinion:

    [The Secretary of State] relies on the general provision in R.C. 3501.11(Q) granting boards of elections the authority to “[i]nvestigate and determine the residence qualifications of electors.” [b]The secretary of state takes an expansive view of this phrase, contending that a board of elections’ power is not limited to situations that arise under R.C. 3503.24 or 3505.19.

    As we detailed previously, however, boards of elections are created by statute and must comply with applicable statutory requirements.[/b] Whitman, 97 Ohio St.3d 216, 2002-Ohio-5923, 778 N.E.2d 32, ¶ 12. Furthermore, the general rule is that, unless there is language allowing substantial compliance, election statutes are mandatory and must be strictly complied with. State ex rel. Ditmars v. McSweeney (2002), 94 Ohio St.3d 472, 476, 764 N.E.2d
    971.

    [b]Because the General Assembly has provided specific provisions by which an elector’s voting registration may be challenged and limited the manner by which an elector’s registration may be canceled, R.C. 3503.24 and 3505.19, these statutes involving challenges to an individual’s right to vote are the statutes that control. The failure of respondents to comply with these provisions entitles Husted to a writ of mandamus.[/b]

    (Emphasis added) As for the ambiguity in the statute, the court stated that this worked in Husted’s favor.

    Because of the sometimes conflicting nature of these sections, when multiple sections are applicable – as here – it is difficult to find by clear and convincing evidence that a person is not a resident of the county claimed. That is, “[t]he rules which the General Assembly specified were apparently intended to enable an individual in such a situation to select as his residence some place which fairly conformed with one or more of the several rules specified, even though it might not conform with some of the other rules so specified or might not be his domicile.” State ex rel. Klink v. Eyrich (1952), 157 Ohio St. 338, 344, 47 O.O. 198, 105 N.E.2d 399 (Taft, J., concurring). [b]Consequently, when the applicability of multiple sections leads to conflicting results, it cannot be shown by the heightened standard of clear and convincing evidence that the person is not a resident of that county and great weight must be accorded to the person’s claimed voting residence.[/b]

    Husted relies on R.C. 3503.02(A), (B), (C), and (G)4 as well as Section 3, Article II of the Ohio Constitution to support his status as a qualified Montgomery County elector. The secretary of state relied on R.C. 3503.02(D) to rule that it had been established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not a Montgomery County resident. [b]For the following reasons, the secretary of state clearly disregarded applicable law in so ruling. [/b]

    First, the secretary of state erred in concluding that Section 3, Article II of the Ohio Constitution is inapplicable. This section provides that “[s]enators and representatives shall have resided in their respective districts one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this State.” This constitutional provision ensures that a state legislator’s absence from the district on official duties does not jeopardize his or her right to claim a full year’s residence in the district. When construed in pari materia with the rules specified in R.C. 3503.02, Section 3, Article II of the Ohio Constitution supports Husted’s claimed residency in Montgomery County because the uncontroverted evidence is that his presence in Franklin County is primarily because of his employment as a state legislator. See R.C. 1.47(C) (in enacting a statute, it is presumed that the legislature intended to comply with the Constitution).

    Second, the secretary of state failed to accord proper weight to Husted’s intent that his Kettering home remain his permanent residence for purposes of voting. R.C. 3503.02 “provides that the person’s intent is of great import,” State ex rel. Stine v. Brown Cty. Bd. of Elections, 101 Ohio St.3d 252, 2004-Ohio-771, 804 N.E.2d 415, ¶ 15, and thus “emphasizes the person’s intent to make a place a fixed or permanent place of abode.” State ex rel. Duncan v. Portage Cty. Bd. of Elections, 115 Ohio St.3d 405, 2007-Ohio-5346, 875 N.E.2d 578, ¶ 11. The secretary of state conceded that “Senator Husted’s undisputed testimony repeatedly emphasized his intent to return to Montgomery County on a full-time basis when his public service is completed,” but she ultimately discounted this uncontroverted evidence.

    In effect, the evidence before the secretary of the state and the board of elections established that Montgomery County is the place in which Husted’s habitation is fixed and he has the intention of returning. R.C. 3503.02(A). In addition, Husted could not be considered to have lost his Montgomery County residence when he left the county for the temporary purpose of working as a state legislator in Franklin County with the intention of returning when that state service ends. R.C. 3503.02(B). Nor could Husted be considered to have gained a residence in Franklin County, which Husted entered for the temporary purpose of state employment only, without the intention of making that county his permanent place of abode. R.C. 3503.02(C).

    [b]Third, the secretary of state erroneously relied exclusively on R.C. 3503.02(D) (which creates a presumption that the place where the family of a married person resides is the person’s place of residence) to decide the residency issue. All of R.C. 3503.02, including section D, is phrased in mandatory language, so elevating R.C. 3503.02(D) over others, e.g., R.C. 3503.02(A) through (C), without reasonable justification is impermissible.

    By effectively treating the R.C. 3503.02(D) factor as the exclusive factor applicable to Husted, the secretary created an irrebuttable presumption to classify Husted as a nonresident of Montgomery County, which is not constitutionally permissible. Bell v. Marinko (C.A.6, 2004), 367 F.3d 588, 593. [/b]

    Our holding is consistent with precedent. For example, in Klink, 157 Ohio St. 338, 47 O.O. 198, 105 N.E.2d 399, we held that a board of elections properly decided that a married person whose family lived in Franklin County SUPREME COURT OF OHIO 12 was a qualified elector of Hamilton County because of substantial evidence that the person intended to eventually return to Cincinnati. See also State ex rel. Lakes v. Young (1954), 161 Ohio St. 341, 53 O.O. 249, 119 N.E.2d 279 (married man did not lose voting residence in township even though his family moved temporarily to a city).

    (Emphasis added) This is as close as an office holder is going to get to being slammed by the court. Brunner (with her legal advisors) is showing the same kind of poor judgment that she and the Governor used when he attempted to veto a bill from the previous legislature that had already been returned to the Secretary of State.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 46 total)

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