The “Reverse Torricelli” in #KSSEN

Taniel notes that also at issue in the #KSSEN race is a provision which requires the party to appoint a replacement if Taylor is successfully removed from the ballot.  I expect Democrats to argue that there’s no time for a replacement to be appointed, given the imminent need to print ballots.

There is an interesting contrast here with the Torricelli case in NJ.  There, Democrats went to the NJ Supreme Court and argued for the right to replace Sen. Robert Torricelli as the Democratic nominee for Senate on the ballot with former Senator Frank Lautenberg.  Torricelli was mired in an ethics scandal and decided to withdraw. The NJ Supreme Court, in a controversial decision (because the statutory time for withdrawal and replacement arguably passed—more on that controversy in my Democracy Canon piece) allowed the replacement. The NJ Supreme Court was condemned by Republicans (and some others) as being biased toward the Democrats.

In this case, Democrats want a Reverse Torricelli. They want to be able to remove a candidate from the ballot but NOT replace him. The idea is that they don’t want anti-Roberts voters to split their votes between the independent likely to caucus with the Democrats and someone listed as a Democrat on the ballot. (Someone at Daily Kos cheekily suggested finding a “Pat Roberts” to be the Democrats stand-in candidate.)

I expect Republicans will howl if the KS Supreme Court not only orders Taylor off the ballot (on grounds his letter complied with the statute by saying he was withdrawing “pursuant to” the relevant section of the ballot)  but says that  Democrats don’t have to replace him on the ballot.

Stay tuned.

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