The undated “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (sic) and Injunctive Relief” may have been filed in Carroll County, Maryland, in the lawsuit, Fair v.
Obama Walker. The most concise indication (in a very not concise complaint) of what the lawsuit is about is found in the specific relief being sought:
We respectfully request the following judgement (sic):
1. Law 8-502 be invalidated, so not to infringe upon the rights of the people.
2. Law 5-302 be followed, to restore faith and the rule of law in our election system.
3. That all candidates be required to sign under oath that they fill the requirements.
4. The members of the General Assembly that voted for this 8-502 law be censured and removed from office and prevented from running for office in the future, because they have failed to follow the U.S.Constitution, the Maryland Constitution, Article 1 Sec 7 and their own oath of office. Article 1 Sec 9.
5. A new election be held in November 2012 to elect new members of the General Assembly, the Governor and Attorney General.
6. The Secretary of State be instructed to follow 5-302 starting with this election.
If one central issue can be identified in this 40-page filing, it is that Maryland law requires that all candidates file a “certificate of candidacy”, but elsewhere requires that for the presidential primary ballot, a candidate only be generally recognized as a candidate. Maryland law Title 8, Subtitle 5, Section 8-502 Candidates for President – Primary election mandates that:
The Secretary of State shall certify the name of a presidential candidate on the ballot when the Secretary has determined, in the Secretary’s sole discretion and consistent with party rules, that the candidate’s candidacy is generally advocated or recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in Maryland….
That is, under this section a candidate for President must be placed on the ballot according to this provision. However Title 5 Subtitle 3 Section 5-301 states that one may become a candidate only upon filing a “certificate of candidacy” (note that this section excludes national party candidates for President in the general election). Title 5 appears to cover primary elections. The State has taken the more specific mandate in Title 8 as controlling and Ms. Fair wants the court to make Title 5 controlling.
I note one further provision of Maryland law: Title 5 Subtitle 6 Section 5-601 – Candidates qualifying (referring to Qualifications for Primary Election Ballot):
The name of a candidate shall remain on the ballot and be submitted to the voters at a primary election if:
(1) the candidate has filed a certificate of candidacy…
(2) the candidate has qualified to have the candidate’s name submitted to the voters in a presidential primary election under Title 8, Subtitle 5 of this article.
Not being a lawyer, I don’t know how this will be sorted out by the court. I assume the court will quickly dismiss the part about throwing legislators out of office and turn the motion into a writ of mandamus, and based on 5-601 it would seem to me that the clear intent of the Legislature was that in the case of a Presidential primary election that 8-502 controls. (5-601 is cited in the Complaint along with huge dumps of Maryland statutes, but not addressed specifically.) The word “Constitution” appears 65 times in the Complaint, but I don’t see how either the Constitution of the United States or that of Maryland allows Ms. Fair to receive the relief sought. This is what you would usually expect, that the Secretary of State of Maryland knows the law better than a pro se plaintiff.
An essential flaw with this “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (sic) and Injunctive Relief” is that it seeks to remove from office persons who are not named in the lawsuit (those named are Robert Walker (Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections), Linda H. Lamone (State Administrator of Elections), John P. McDonough (Maryland Secretary of State) and Jared DeMarinis (Director of the Candidacy and Campaign Finance Division, Maryland State Board of Elections).
Apparently the Complaint was accompanied by 9 exhibits, many of which deal with President Obama’s eligibility. One notes that the suit itself makes no request that an eligibility determination be made, and so this is irrelevant.
The Maryland Primary is April 3. In my opinion, this case is: