Texas Supreme Court said to deny all relief in Brimer-Davis case
Tue August 19, 2008 2:47 pm

I had briefly posted an item here that was skeptical about whether Wendy Davis could get a fair hearing before the Texas Supreme Court. Shame on me for being such a cynic. I just received a call from an attorney in the case who said that the Court has denied all relief sought by Brimer.

Brimer had asked for expedited handling of the case by the Supreme Court. The denial means that the case will return to the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, which has called for briefs to be submitted. One of the reasons that Brimer sought an expedited hearing was his concern that the Court of Appeals could not hear the case and produce a decision before the date after which a candidate's name could not be removed from the ballot.

The politics of this maneuvering are very bad for Brimer. Political pros know the risks of asking the courts to knock your opponent off the ballot. Voters regard this as unfair play, and if it fails, they are very likely to punish the candidate who goes to court--and loses--at the ballot box. The Brimer camp had to know this before they went to court, so the logical conclusion is that they were sufficiently worried about the race that they were willing to take the risk--even after Brimer lost his case in the trial court. They also must have known that winning was a long shot, because courts strictly construe election laws against ineligibility.

The game is not quite over, because the Supreme Court action was not a decision on the merits. The Court of Appeals could still come to Brimer's rescue. Don't bet on it.

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