Losing at the state high court may not end Chris McDaniel’s months-long challenge of his election loss to Sen. Thad Cochran, his lead attorney said after arguing before the Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday. McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said the erstwhile candidate could still file a challenge of his loss in federal court, on First Amendment grounds. He said McDaniel still hasn’t had a trial to prove the election was stolen from him and “the merits have never been heard on this case.” The state Supreme Court heard nearly two hours of arguments Thursday in McDaniel’s appeal of a circuit court’s dismissal of his election lawsuit. The court gave no indication when it might rule. Cochran attorney Mark Garriga said McDaniel’s challenge needs to end. “They blamed everybody in the world for losing the election,” Garriga said. “They blamed the trial court for losing the lawsuit, and if they lose today they want to blame other people. This has been a long ordeal for the Cochran campaign, for the circuit clerks and for all the people who have been accused of wrongdoing.”
Mississippi: Chris McDaniel pushes back announcement on status of election lawsuit until Wednesday | Associated Press
Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel will take at least one extra day to decide whether to try to revive his lawsuit that challenged his Republican primary loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran. McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch said Monday that McDaniel will take until Wednesday to decide whether to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn the lawsuit’s dismissal. McDaniel’s camp originally said he would announce a decision Tuesday. Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed the lawsuit Friday, saying McDaniel waited too long to file it.
The city of Anaheim is in talks to settle a lawsuit filed by the ACLU accusing the city’s election system of violating the state’s Voting Rights Act. The case is set to go to trial in March but key hearings and depositions have been delayed because the parties appear to be moving toward a deal, according to court records and a plaintiff. “For me, certainly, any settlement talks are about the city agreeing toward the direction of establishing districts, authentic districts, where the representatives are voted for by the residents of those districts,” said plaintiff Jose Moreno. The ACLU filed the case on behalf of Moreno and two other Latino residents of Anaheim last year in an effort to end the city’s at-large elections. Anaheim is the largest city in California that still elects its leaders at large rather than by districts.
South Carolina: Lawsuit could lead to another wave of 2012 primaries in South Carolina | TheState.com
A disqualified Charleston County Council candidate has asked a judge to order a new Republican primary in his district – a request that, if it succeeds, could lead to another wave of election lawsuits across the state. Brian Moody, a Republican, was disqualified along with more than 250 other candidates after the state Supreme Court ruled they did not file their financial paperwork properly. Subsequently, candidates across the state have tried, mostly in vain, to get back on the ballot. But, last week, when a state judge disqualified Paul Thurmond from a state Senate race for similar reasons, the judge ordered the GOP to hold a new primary, giving Thurmond a way back onto the ballot. The next day, Moody filed a lawsuit asking for the same thing. “It’s probably a ‘hail Mary,’ but if you’re already going to have a primary with my good friend Mr. Thurmond, why not have one for us?” Moody said.
Fremont County is balking at paying legal fees for a group of American Indians whose court challenge forced the county to abandon its system of at-large voting for commissioners. Five members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes won a ruling from U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne in 2010 that at-large voting in the county violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the Indian vote. A federal appeals court early this year rejected Fremont County’s appeal. On appeal, the county didn’t contest Johnson’s finding that at-large voting violated the law. Instead, it challenged the judge’s rejection of its proposals to remediate the violation by creating a single, Indian majority district centered on the Wind River Indian Reservation while continuing with at-large voting in the rest of the county. In rejecting the county’s plans, Johnson wrote that they “appear to be devised solely for the purpose of segregating citizens into separate voting districts on the basis of race without sufficient justification, contrary to the defendants’ assertions.”