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Monday, August 07, 2006

Texas GOP drops DeLay ballot case after Scalia refuses to stay ruling
James M Yoch Jr at 8:22 PM ET

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia [OYEZ profile] denied a request [JURIST report] Monday from Texas Republican Party chair Tina Benkiser seeking to stay a federal appeals court ruling [text, PDF] that former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [JURIST news archive] must remain on the Texas ballot for the November election against Democratic candidate Nick Lampson. According to the decision handed down last week by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website], the state Republican party cannot remove DeLay from the ballot in Texas even though he currently resides in Virginia because he could still return to his home in Texas before election day. If DeLay were to simply withdraw from the election rather than be declared ineligible, Republicans would not be able to name a replacement candidate. Following Scalia's decision, a lawyer said that the Texas Republicans would abandon appeals [AP report] in the case.

In last Thursday's ruling, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a decision [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] by US District Court Judge Sam Sparks to keep DeLay's name on the ballot. DeLay resigned from Congress [JURIST report] earlier this year after winning a March primary for his congressional seat. He is awaiting a Texas trial on money laundering and conspiracy charges [JURIST report] for allegedly using corporate money to fund legislative campaigns. AP has more.

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