As I suspected, the New Jersey Supreme Court has just taken upon itself to rewrite the law. In a 7-0 decision, the court held that the Democrats could replace Bob Torricelli with Frank Lautenberg
on November's ballot.
And the Court having concluded that the central question before it is whether the dual interests of full voter choice and the orderly administration of an election can be effectuated if the relief requested by plaintiffs were to be granted;
And the Court being of the view that
[it] is in the public interest and the general intent of the election laws to preserve the two-party system and to submit to the electorate a ballot bearing the names of candidates of both major political parties as well as of all other qualifying parties and groups.Kilmurray v. Gilfert, 10 N.J. 435, 441 (1952);
And the Court remaining of the view that the election statutes should be liberally construed
to allow the greatest scope for public participation in the electoral process, to allow candidates to get on the ballot, to allow parties to put their candidates on the ballot, and most importantly, to allow the voters a choice on Election Day.Catania v. Haberle, 123 N.J. 438, 448;
And the Court having determined that N.J.S.A. 19:13-20 does not preclude the possibility of a vacancy occurring within fifty-one days of the general election;
And the Court having concluded that the equitable relief sought herein is not inconsistent with the precedent of this Court and the terms of the statute and that the Court should invoke its equitable powers in favor of a full and fair ballot choice for the voters of New Jersey;
In other words, laws don't matter. What's even more astonishing is that the court admits that their ruling is designed to "preserve the two-party system," as if that were within the scope of their powers. They're supposed to be neutral, not to favor any particular outcome of the political process.