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Voeltz v Obama Dismissal

Voeltz v Obama Dismissal

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Published by George Miller

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Published by: George Miller on Jul 02, 2012
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20120044408ELECTRONICALLYRECORDEDINTHEPUBLICRECORDSOFLEONCOUNTY,FLBK:4388PG:61
07/02/2012
at08:59AMBOBINZER,CLERKOFCOURTS
INTHECIRCUITCOURTOFTHESECONDJUDICALCIRCUIT,INANDFORLEONCOUNTY,FLORIDAMICHAELC.VOELTZ,CASENO.2012-CA-00467Plaintiff,BARACKHUSSEINOBAMA,FloridaDemocraticPartyNomineetothe2012DemocraticPartyConvention,KENDETZNER,SecretaryofStateofFlorida,andFLORIDAELECTIONSCANVASSINGCOMMISSION,Defendants.
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ORDERGRANTINGBARACKOBAMA'SANDSECRETARYOFSTATEKENDETZNER'SMOTIONTODISMISSAMENDEDCOMPLAINTThiscaseisbeforemeonmotionstodismissfiledbyDefendantsObamaandDetzner.TheamendedcomplaintchallengesthenominationofDefendantObamaastheDemocraticParty'snomineefortheofficeofPresidentoftheUnitedStates,pursuanttoSection102.168,FloridaStatutes.ThePlaintiffallegesthatcandidateObamaisnoteligibleforthatofficebecauseheisnota"natural-borncitizen"withinthemeaningofArticleII,SectionIoftheConstitutionoftheUnitedStates.BecauseIfindthattheplaintiffhasnotandcannotstateacauseofactionforthereliefrequestedunderSection102.168,FloridaStatutes,Igrantthemotionstodismisswithprejudice.Thereareseveraldeficienciesinthecomplaint,butthebiggestproblem,andonewhichcannotbeovercomebyamendingthecomplaint,isthatSection102.168,FloridaStatutes,isnotapplicabletothenominationofacandidateforOfficeofPresidentoftheUnitedStates.Thisstatuteprovides,inpertinentpart,asfollows:
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ORBK:4388PG:62
(1)Exceptasprovidedins.102.171,thecertificationofelectionornominationofanypersontooffice,oroftheresultonanyquestionsubmittedbyreferendum,maybecontestedinthecircuitcourtbyanyunsuccessfulcandidateforsuchofficeornominationtheretoorbyanyelectorqualifiedtovoteintheelectionrelatedtosuchcandidacy,orbyanytaxpayer,respectively.PlaintiffarguesthatPresidentObamahasbeennominatedastheDemocraticParty'scandidatefortheofficebyvirtueofthefactthathehadnooppositionforthePresidentialPreferencePrimaryElection.UnderFloridaStatutesSection97.021(28),'''Primaryelection'meansanelectionheldprecedingthegeneralelectionforthepurposeofnominatingapartynomineetobevotedforinthegeneralelectiontofillanational,state,county,ordistrictoffice."BecauseMr.Obamawastheonlycandidateforthatprimaryelection,PlaintiffarguesthatFloridaStatutes,Section101.252(1)applies.Thatprovisionreadsasfollows:"Anycandidatefornominationwhohasqualifiedasprescribedbylawisentitledtohavehisorhernameprintedontheofficialprimaryelectionballot.However,whenthereisonlyonecandidateofanypoliticalpartyqualifiedforanoffice,thenameofthecandidateshallnotbeprintedontheprimaryelectionballot,
andsuchcandidateshallbedeclarednominatedfortheoffice."
[Emphasisadded].Florida'sSupremeCourthasconfirmedthat"[w]henonlyonecandidateforapoliticalpartyqualifies,thatcandidateistheparty'snominee."
RepublicanStateExec.Comm.
v.
Graham,
388So.2d556,557(1980).Iftheplaintiffwaschallengingthecandidate'seligibilityforanyotheroffice,hisanalysiswouldbecorrectandtheseprovisionswouldapply.TheOfficeofPresidentoftheUnitedStates,however,istreateddifferentlyunderFloridalaw.Ineveryotherpoliticaloffice,anypersoncanqualifytorunasaDemocratorRepublicaninaprimaryelectionandifshereceivesthegreatestnumberofvotes,sheis,bylaw,thatparty'snomineeforthegeneralelection.Candidatesfortheseotherofficesarerequiredtofilecertaindocumentsandpayaqualifyingfee(orsufficientPage2of7
 
ORBK:4388PG:63
petitions)duringaspecifictimeperiod.In2012thatqualifyingperiodranfromnoononMonday,June4,2012untilnoononFriday,June8,2012.Presidentialcandidatesdonotqualifyduringthatperiodorpursuanttothatprocess.Rather,Section103.021,FloridaStatutes,providesthatpresidentialelectorsaredesignatedbytherespectivepoliticalpartiesbeforeSeptember1ofeachpresidentialelectionyearandnominatedbytheGovernor.
1
Therespectivemajorpoliticalpartiesdeterminetheirnomineeatanationalconventionpursuanttorulesthatthepartiesdraftandapprove.ThePresidentialPreferencePrimaryElectioninFloridaisanintegralpartofthatprocessfortheparties,butasitrelatestoFloridalaw,thereisnoqualifyingandnocertificationofnominationofthecandidateasaresult.Thus,underFloridalaw,Mr.ObamaisnotpresentlythenomineeoftheDemocraticPartyfortheoffice.
1
Section103.021(1)and(2),FloridaStatutes(2011),providesasfollows:Nominationforpresidentialelectors.-Candidatesforpresidentialelectorsshallbenominatedinthefollowingmanner:(1)TheGovernorshallnominatethepresidentialelectorsofeachpoliticalparty.ThestateexecutivecommitteeofeachpoliticalpartyshallbyresolutionrecommendcandidatesforpresidentialelectorsanddeliveracertifiedcopythereoftotheGovernorbeforeSeptember1ofeachpresidentialelectionyear.TheGovernorshallnominateonlytheelectorsrecommendedbythestateexecutivecommitteeoftherespectivepoliticalparty.Eachsuchelectorshallbeaqualifiedelectorofthepartyheorsherepresentswhohastakenanoaththatheorshewillvoteforthecandidatesofthepartythatheorsheisnominatedtorepresent.TheGovernorshallcertifytotheDepartmentofStateonorbeforeSeptember1,ineachpresidentialelectionyear,thenamesofanumberofelectorsforeachpoliticalpartyequaltothenumberofsenatorsandrepresentativeswhichthisstatehasinCongress.(2)Thenamesofthepresidentialelectorsshallnotbeprintedonthegeneralelectionballot,butthenamesoftheactualcandidatesforPresidentandVicePresidentforwhomthepresidentialelectorswillvoteifelectedshallbeprintedontheballotintheorderinwhichthepartyofwhichthecandidateisanomineepolledthehighestnumberofvotesforGovernorinthelastgeneralelection.
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