mighty Klayman has struck out
Today the Alabama Supreme Court issued its 7-2 decision in the case of McInnish v. Chapman, and the decision goes against plaintiffs Hugh Chapman and Virgil Goode, who were trying to force the Alabama Secretary of State to verify Obama’s eligibility to be on the 2102 Alabama presidential ballot. Larry Klayman was the attorney for the Appellants.
The Court’s Majority issued no written opinion, only affirming the lower court decision dismissing the case.
- Majority decision to affirm dismissal, no opinion (Stuart, Murdock, Shaw, Main, Wise)
- Concurring opinion (Bolin)
- Concurring opinion (Bryan)
- Dissenting Opinion (Moore)
- Dissenting Opinion (Parker)
Chief Justice Roy Moore issued the major dissenting opinion, and Justice Bolin issued a concurring opinion specifically addressed to Moore’s dissent. Chief Justice Moore states that under Alabama Law, Secretary of State Chapman has an affirmative duty to verify candidate eligibility. Justice Bolin agrees that candidate eligibility is an important public interest, but that Alabama statutes do not place a duty on the Secretary of State to verify it. Further Justice Bolin points out that Secretary of State Chapman is a nonjudicial officer with no subpoena power or investigative authority. Justice Bolin concludes:
Under our current structure, however, the burden of investigating a presidential candidate’s qualifications is best left – unfortunately or not – to the candidate’s political party….
As I understand his position, Justice Bolin is saying that a state statute requiring verification of eligibility for candidates for president is a desirable thing, given his belief that the federal courts are prohibited from adjudicating eligibility because of the Political Question Doctrine.
Justice Bryan also issued a concurring opinion, briefly stating his belief that legislation could be passed to allow verification of candidate eligibility.
Chief Justice Moore’s dissenting opinion goes to the details of the Alabama statutes involved and at a brief reading has no particular high points. It is an analysis on the merits.
Chief Justice Parker also dissents from the majority opinion, supporting the analysis of Chief Justice Moore, but disagreeing on the Secretary of State’s affirmative duty to investigate candidate eligibility.
A text search of all of the opinions affirms my opinion that the Affidavit of Mike Zullo is irrelevant to the decision, being cited not once, except that the dissenting opinion from Justice Parker made reference to materials submitted previously to the Secretary of State that were sufficient, in his mind, to warrant investigation. Those materials reference results of Zullo’s investigation and contain a brief statement from him.