The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered that a case brought by a registered Democrat against the Kansas Democratic Party be transferred to the district court of Shawnee County. David Orel, a Democrat from Kansas City, Kan., filed a petition with the court last week to compel Democrats to appoint a replacement for Chad Taylor in the U.S. Senate race. The race has gained national attention and could prove critical in determining which party wins control of the Senate. Orel, whose son works on Gov. Sam Brownback’s campaign, invoked a statute that says when a vacancy on the ballot occurs after the primary, the party “shall” appoint a replacement.
The case comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week that Taylor’s name be taken off the ballot after he had submitted a withdrawal letter to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office.
… Rick Hasen, an election law expert from the University of California at Irvine, said the high court’s decision to kick the case down to a lower court likely means that ballots will have to be printed before there can be a definitive ruling in the case.
“The effect of this order is to delay things beyond the point at which it would make sense for Democrats to put a name on the ballot. That is, by the time the issue would get back to the Supreme Court, ballots may have been printed,” Hasen wrote in an analysis. “Democrats had been hoping to run out the clock in this case, and this is a big order helping that cause.”