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Elections USA

“If New Jersey had better beaches it would almost be Florida.”

Senator Robert Torricelli (D) decided to end his reelection bid on September 29th, because he was in a horrendous hole of his own making; namely, his ethical lapses came to light and he slipped behind in the polls. Certainly you can’t make people run for office. On the other hand, it’s clearly not legal to replace Torricelli with an alternate Democratic candidate; New Jersey law says if someone ends his bid within 51 days of the election, his party can’t put someone else in his slot. (Or her slot.) So in theory the Republican candidate is going to be elected no matter what.

Except that the state Democratic Party petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court to allow a replacement, and won. The decision was unanimous: 7-0, and 6 of those judges were appointed by a Republican, just to get that on the record.

Very sloppy, and the same sort of “we’ll do what’s right regardless of the law” thinking I often condemn. The fact that it benefits the Democrats is immaterial. The fact that it came from Republicans amuses and does not surprise me, but it’s really only an ironic tidbit. If the problems with this are at all unclear, Eugene Volokh makes some excellent points.

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