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Friday, October 04, 2002
Mostly beating a dead horse
Law professors Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar break down some of the Torricelli legal issues. Not much new here, but they do note a contradiction in the court's thinking:
Here's another way to put our point. New ballots will cost around 800 thousand dollars. The court ordered the Democratic Party to pay this expense. But suppose a party didn't have the money–would it then not be entitled to new ballots in a similar circumstance?

Ordinarily, government pays for ballots, not private parties. (This was one of the major reforms introduced into America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.) In a plane crash, or other death situation, would the court impose the costs on one political party? If there is genuinely a public interest in new ballots, why shouldn't the public pay?

Conversely, if this request for a new ballot is really the "fault" of the Democrats–enough so that they and only they should in fairness pay for the new ballots–then isn't this payment order itself an implicit admission that this is, to some extent at least, a partisan request for partisan advantage?
As if that were in doubt.

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