Special Judge Hollis McGehee delivered what could be the final blow to Chris McDaniel’s election challenge in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. McGehee sided with Thad Cochran in dismissing the court challenge, saying McDaniel missed a 20-day deadline to file his challenge with the Mississippi Republican Party. McDaniel has the option to appeal McGehee’s ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court, a decision McDaniel is expected to announce Tuesday. If McDaniel appeals, we are left with two scenarios:
1. The state’s high court could overturn McGehee’s ruling, in which case the challenge would be returned to the circuit clerk and move forward.
2. Justices could uphold McGehee’s ruling, and that would be the end of this long ordeal.
It is seemingly illogical that McDaniel would choose to throw the towel in at this stage. To not appeal would be conceding defeat, something he has absolutely refused to do to this point. It would be ending the fight for what he has deemed “the integrity of Mississippi’s electoral system” when there are still one more avenue to explore.
Nevertheless, it does appear that McDaniel’s challenge will never see a trial, and that’s probably just fine with the state senator. He’s an attorney, and he has to know that he has a weak case. The “binder full of evidence” may be considered impressive political theatre by some, but it is represents an absolutely underwhelming legal argument in state court.
Interestingly enough, what is a weak state argument could make for a much more compelling argument in federal court. McDaniel puts forth the idea that Democrats participating in the Republican primary violates Republicans’ Constitutional right to free association. A federal court in California has ruled as much in a different case, which McDaniel’s legal team cites.
Full Article: Hall: Could federal case succeed where McDaniel failing?.