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BREAKING: Blackwell Seeks Depositions of Kerry and

BREAKING: Blackwell Seeks Depositions of Kerry and Edwards

By WilliamPitt,

Voter Rights ::


In a filing today in the Ohio recount case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General and Ohio Secretary of State asked a federal judge to allow them to take depositions of Senator John Kerry and former Senator John Edwards. Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell urge the court to dismiss Kerry-Edwards as an intervening party in the recount case. They argue that they should have the right to place Kerry and Edwards under oath for questioning on the grounds that the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential candidates should no longer be allowed involvement in the case.

What is behind this court filing? Kerry-Edwards 2004 submitted key filings in this case last week which supported claims made by 2004 presidential candidates David Cobb and Michael Badnarik that the Ohio recount was not conducted in accordance with uniform standards, as is required by the equal protection and due process guarantees of the US Constitution. These claims have been pending before Federal District Court Judge Edmund Sargus in Columbus since December 30, 2004. Cobb and Badnarik, who are represented by the National Voting Rights Institute, have also recently filed a motion for a hearing on the pending matters before the court, which Kerry-Edwards supported in its papers submitted last week.

Ohio Attorney General Petro and Secretary of State Blackwell are now clearly trying to remove Kerry-Edwards from this case either via a court order or, if that fails, via the threat of taking the depositions of Kerry and Edwards. On December 3, against Petro and Blackwell’s objections, Judge Sargus allowed the Kerry-Edwards’ motion to intervene in this case. Since that date, neither Petro nor Blackwell has sought to remove Kerry-Edwards from this case. Their effort to do so now should be rejected by the court and Kerry and Edwards should show that they refuse to be intimidated by these threats.

The Blackwell transfer statement filing can be read here (Adobe required).

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