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New Jersey Banana Republic - October 3, 2002

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Another judicial low has taken place initiated by the same folks who brought us the Florida Court Jesters. The New Jersey Supreme Court decision is fatally flawed due to the following:

-The legislature has created law without ambiguity or provision for judicial discretion.

The law plainly required that ballot switches be made within specific time periods.

The role of the NJSC is to apply the law, not to be an un-elected legislature. Otherwise why maintain a legislature at all?

-The "Two-Party System" is no justification to ignore the clear intent of the legislature.

The judiciary of a state in the face of a clear specific statute that sets forth orderly deadlines can't justify a violation of separation of powers through a state interest to preserve the two party system.

Political parties have nothing to do with the state, are not mentioned in the founding documents and did not exist at the birth of our nation.

The ballots in New Jersey contain numerous other choices besides Republican and Democrat. Libertarian, Green, Socialist and the NJ Conservative Party have fielded candidates for the voters' consideration.

-The NJSC has disenfranchised voters.

Absentee ballots were already sent. Some went to active duty military voters. These voters are disenfranchised, particularly those who have already returned their ballots.

The primary voters have had their votes taken away. 190,000 New Jersey voters cast their primary ballot for Robert Torricelli. The NJSC has undermined the primary process by allowing party bosses in backrooms to choose candidates by using the courts to rewrite statutes.

-The NJSC actions are not in keeping with their oaths of office.

The haste that this court showed, in hearing this case without the proper filing of papers, in hearing only diminutive arguments and in issuing summary rulings, suggests that some sort of influence took place.

Two of the judges contributed to Torricelli's campaign and should have recused themselves from the proceeding.

This is a legal mess that can only be cleaned up by the highest court in the land. Time for the big nine to bring it in line.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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