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TN (WDTN) - LLF - 2012-06-21 - Memorandum & ORDER DISMISSING CASE

TN (WDTN) - LLF - 2012-06-21 - Memorandum & ORDER DISMISSING CASE

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Published by Jack Ryan


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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Jack Ryan on Jun 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Defendants have argued in other filings with the Court that Defendant National
Democratic Party of the USA, Inc. is not a proper party to this action and is perhaps a “sham”organization contrived to obtain venue in Shelby County, Tennessee.
Defs.’ Mem. inSupport Mot. Dismiss 1 n.1 (D.E. # 5). To date this Defendant has not answered or otherwiseappeared to defend in this matter.1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEEWESTERN DIVISION ______________________________________________________________________________ LIBERTY LEGAL FOUNDATION,)JOHN DUMMETT,)LEONARD VOLODARSKY, and)CREG MARONEY, ))Plaintiffs,))v.) No. 12-2143-STA)NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY )of the USA, Inc., DEMOCRATIC )NATIONAL COMMITTEE,)TENNESSEE DEMOCRATIC PARTY,)DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ,)CHIP FORRESTER, ))Defendants.) ______________________________________________________________________________ ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS ______________________________________________________________________________ 
Before the Court is Defendants Democratic National Committee, Tennessee DemocraticParty, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Chip Forrester’S Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6) (D.E. # 4) filed on March 1, 2012. Plaintiffs Liberty Legal Foundation,John Dummett, Leonard Volodarsky, and Creg Maroney have filed a response in opposition.
Case 2:12-cv-02143-STA-cgc Document 31 Filed 06/21/12 Page 1 of 20 PageID 469
Defendants Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have filed
their own motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(2) (D.E. # 6).Defendant Chip Forrester has filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue under Rule 12(b)(3)(D.E. # 8). Because standing is a threshold issue in every federal case and because the Courtholds that Plaintiffs lack standing in this matter, the Court need not reach these separate Rule12(b) motions.Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint while this matter was pending before the
Shelby County Chancery Court.2Defendants have a filed a reply brief. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is
Plaintiffs filed their Complaint in the Chancery Court for Shelby County, Tennessee, onOctober 26, 2011. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants “intend[] to send documents to the Tennessee
Secretary of State announcing that [President Barack] Obama is [their] Presidential nominee for the2012 general election and representing that he is qualified to hold the office of President.” (Am.Compl. ¶ 8.) Plaintiffs further allege that these representations are false because President Obamais not a “natural-born citizen” as Article II of the United States Constitution requires for any one whowould hold the office of President of the United States. (
¶¶ 9–19.) Based on these allegedmisrepresentations to the Tennessee Secretary of State, Plaintiffs contend that Defendants are liablefor negligent misrepresentation and fraud/intentional misrepresentation and that the Court shouldenjoin them from filing papers which will place President Obama’s name on the ballot in Tennesseefor the November general election. On February 23, 2012, Defendants removed Plaintiffs’ suit tothis Court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction, and on April 13, 2012, the Court deniedPlaintiffs’ motion to remand (D.E. # 18).In their Motion to Dismiss, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs lack standing to pursue their claims and that even if they did have the requisite standing, Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim
Case 2:12-cv-02143-STA-cgc Document 31 Filed 06/21/12 Page 2 of 20 PageID 470
3upon which relief may be granted. According to Defendants, Plaintiff Maroney has alleged only thathe is a private citizen who is injured in his status as a voter. Thus, Maroney has not alleged that hehas suffered an injury-in-fact that would give him standing to bring this suit. As for PlaintiffsDummett and Volodarsky, Defendants argue that their status as possible presidential candidates doesnot give them standing because their prospects for election are theoretical at best. Defendants further contend that a candidate for President of the United States will not suffer an injury-in-fact resultingfrom President Obama appearing on Tennessee’s ballot until such time as Tennessee’s electoralvotes are allotted. As a result, the injuries alleged by Plaintiffs Dummett and Volodarsky arespeculative at this point. With respect to Plaintiff Liberty Legal Foundation, Defendants argue thatthis organization cannot establish associational standing in this case. The Amended Complaint doesnot allege that any of this organization’s members have standing. As such, the organization itself lacks standing to bring this suit. Defendants go on to argue that the interests which Liberty LegalFoundation seeks to protect, i.e. the right to have a constitutionally-qualified candidate on the ballot,are not germane to the organization’s stated mission to defend “basic human rights.” For all of thesereasons, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs lack standing to bring this action. Therefore, the Courtshould dismiss the case under Rule 12(b)(1).Even if the Court determined that Plaintiffs had standing, Defendants maintain that theAmended Complaint fails to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). First, Defendants argue that a federallawsuit is not the proper vehicle to challenge a candidate’s qualifications for office. Rather this task is reserved for the electorate and the United States Congress. In other words, Plaintiffs’ claims are preempted under federal law. Second, Defendants assert that the Tennessee Democratic Party hasthe right to nominate whoever it chooses to run as a candidate, including someone who is not
Case 2:12-cv-02143-STA-cgc Document 31 Filed 06/21/12 Page 3 of 20 PageID 471

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Amelia Gorman added this note
I guess the Dems. could put a Jackasses name on the Ballot for the office of President. Folks I am up to my eyes with witchery, no respect for our constitution, they do what in the hell they want to do! As of today I am removing every web-site that duscusses ObamaCare, elections, Michele Obama, etc. I am sick and tired of reading this crap. Do any of you feel unrepresented? Good by.
Marvin Schulgen added this note
This is an excellent example of why the majority of American citizens no longer trust our courts. They give every appearance of not working in the interest of the citizens of this country, but rather in the interest of the special interests! There is almost no way a normal citizen can get redress from the courts for loss or infringement of his rights. It all depends on who you are!
RogerBWilkinson added this note
This shows why judges and courts of law are part of the Problem of no redress.
suedbastards added this note
Now for the Arizona shoe to drop.
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