Very soon, Federal District Judge David G. Campbell will be ruling on a motion to dismiss in the case of Arizona Green Party v. Bennett, et al., in which we are defendants.
The motion has been filed by Maricopa, Greenlee, Mohave, Navajo, and Yuma Counties. It asks that the case be dismissed on grounds of laches.
This essentially means that the plaintiffs sat on their rights for far too long and filed this eleventh-hour suit at an unreasonably late time when the deadline for printing ballots is early tomorrow morning.
As the motion states, the Arizona Green Party knew by July 15 who had filed as write-in candidates for Green Party primary elections. Yet they did nothing.
In my case, as the Secretary of State's records show, I filed as a candidate for Arizona's Sixth Congressional District Green Party primary on May 28, 2010. I know that date well because it was my parents' 61st wedding anniversary. Yet the Arizona Green Party did nothing to challenge me.
In fact, they gave me access to their Yahoo Groups listserv of candidates and party documents; allowed me to vote at a party meeting on endorsement of other candidates; and interviewed me.
Yet their complaint filed with federal court lists me with ten other "sham" candidates and says we all registered with the party just a few days before filing, which they contradict in my case in another part of the document, though the complaint admits it doesn't actually know when I registered as a Green voter. In fact, all the other candidates' registration changes are listed as exhibits, but mine is curiously missing.
Anyway, back to the motion to dismiss. It goes on to say that the Arizona Green Party had notice of all they are alleging regarding the qualified (not "sham") candidates were by mid-July, but they did nothing. You can see that in that document I posted here back on August from Claudia Ellquist, one of the plaintiffs.
As the motion states, "Though the plaintiffs were well aware of these candidates before and up to the Primary Election, the Plaintiffs waited two weeks, till September 6, 2010, to file their Complaint. and motion for TRO [temporary restraining order], all on the eve of the General Election ballot. This delay will create significant problems for Maricopa County and the other counties if the Court orders deletion of these candidates from the General Election ballot.
Then it explains the difficulties, which some stupid people are oblivious to or ignorant of.
The motion says the complaint must be dismissed under the doctrine of laches, something every first-year law student learns. (And we've taught plenty.)
It quotes an Arizona Supreme Court case that says "a party's failure to diligently prosecute an election appeal may in future cases result in a dismissal for laches," then says:
This is one of those 'future cases.' See also McClung v. Bennett, 235 P.3d 1037, 1040 (Ariz. 2010) (Arizona 2010) (Arizona Supreme Court rules that dilatory conduct which unnecessarily accelerated litigation and jeopardized election officials' timely compliance with statutory deadlines, supported dismissal of the appeal)
Laches generally bars a claim when the delay is unreasonable and results in prejudice to the opposing party. . .
In this case, the Plaintiffs offer no justification for their delay. They had ample advance knowledge of the write-in status of the challenged candidates by at least mid-July, of their nominee status since August 24, 2010. However, they failed to file their Complaint for two weeks, a large and critical time period that will prejudice the Counties, given the printing deadlines and other statutorily mandated deadlines. . .
Further, the record reflects that while Plaintiffs have had many weeks to prepare, research, and perfect their lengthy Complaint and motion for TRO [our comment: not enough to catch the misstatements of facts or pure lies contained in it], the County defendants have been afforded less than two days (September 7 and 8) to review the Plaintiff's lengthy pleadings and the record, and to draft their Response - at the same time their clients are attempting to finalize the ballots on a timely basis. . .
Plaintiffs let these issues languish for weeks and months (as early as mid-July) before bringing it to the Court's attention. They should not be rewarded for their delay.
That was filed yesterday. Just this morning an answer to the Arizona Green Party complaint was filed by Laura Dean-Lytle, in her official capacity as Recorder for Pinal County, and Bryan Martyn, Pete Rios and David Snider, in their official capacity as members of the Board of Supervisors for Pinal County (hereinafter "Pinal County Defendants").
The Pinal County Defendants stated they were "without sufficient to form a belief as to the truthfulness" of most of the allegations, specifically including the allegations about my own party registration as a Pinal County Voter, and thus were denying the allegations.