I wrote in my article “New: Dummett for President,” that John Dummett hastily signed up (May 15 to be exact) as a write-in candidate for President in Tennessee in order to provide standing in the lawsuit styled Liberty Legal Foundation v National Democratic Party of the U. S. A. (NDPUSA whoever they are, was subsequently dismissed as a defendant).
LLF Attorney Van R. Irion has filed a memorandum of supplemental authorities from familiar birther lawsuits, Sibley and Tisdale in support of Dummett’s newfound standing as a candidate.
I am not a lawyer, but I think Irion has a point that one candidate has standing to sue another one.
At this point it might be helpful to refer to Judge Carter’s ruling in Barnett v. Obama (cert denied by the Supreme Court last Friday). Plaintiffs in the Keyes lawsuit included candidates, in particular Keyes, Drake, Lightfoot and Robinson, who were far more serious contenders than Mr. Dummett. Judge Carter was loathe to go down the “slippery slope” of the defense argument that the plaintiffs were not “serious candidates” because they had no chance of winning. So Judge Carter concluded:
Because the political candidate plaintiffs are the only category of plaintiffs who potentially satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement, the Court will turn to whether the political candidates can satisfy the redressability requirement of the standing analysis and whether the political candidates can further clear the political question and separation of powers hurdles of justiciability.1
The redressability question was different in Keyes because the lawsuit was filed after President Obama’s inauguration, which is not the case for this 2012 election lawsuit.
In my view, Keyes is a much better case for Irion to have cited, since it addresses standing of candidates directly. Perhaps he hasn’t read the case. However, there is a fatal flaw in Irion’s theory, and that is that Mr. Dummett only became a declared candidate after the lawsuit was filed. I don’t think plaintiffs get to change the facts of the case in midstream.
Attorney Van Irion informed me by email that he had cited Barnett v. Obama in an earlier brief.
1The Court of Appeals corrected this part of the decision, saying that the plaintiffs were not candidates at the time of the filing of the lawsuit, and so they lacked standing; however, this point does not, I think, invalidate the application of Carter’s reasoning to the LLF case.