Bush-Appointed Judge Slammed for Trying to Eliminate Nevada’s “None of the Above” Ballot Choice
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week not only reversed the decision of a Nevada federal judge, but also criticized him for being arrogant and flaunting the judicial system.
The judge in question was Robert C. Jones, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003, who ruled in favor of a Republican attempt to strip the “none of these candidates” choice from election ballots.
Nevada, based on a 1975 law, is the only state to allow voters the option of essentially choosing a “none of the above” on Election Day. Republicans sought to remove the choice in order to force dissatisfied voters to choose Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.
Jones assigned himself the case on July 3 and then ruled orally on August 22 that the “none of these candidates” choice was unconstitutional and must be removed. However he never issued a written decision. Jones was accused of dragging his feet to prevent any appeal from putting the option back on ballots, which election officials must start printing by September 7.
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit acted quickly, voting unanimously on September 4 to stay Jones’ ruling. Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote that Jones’ “dilatory tactics appear to serve no purpose other than to seek to prevent the state from taking an appeal of his decision before it must print the ballots.”
Reinhardt added that Jones’ actions were “particularly egregious….Such arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system,” Reinhardt concluded.
Reinhardt was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and Judge Carlos Bea by President George W. Bush in 2003.
To Learn More:
Judge Slammed for Delaying Ballot Appeal (by Nick Divito, Courthouse News Service)
Benchslap of the Day: Trust Judge Reinhardt, He’s An Expert (by David Lat, Above the Law)
Chances for Appealing Judge's Ballot Ruling Are Little or None (by Jane Ann Morrison, Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wendy Townley v. Ross Miller (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) (pdf)
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