Monday, March 31, 2008

Cook v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - March 26, 2008)

Justice delayed, as we all know, is justice denied. By contrast, sometimes, speedy justice is pretty darn impressive. As it is here.

I gotta tell you, I'm pretty floored by how rapidly -- and properly -- this case gets resolved. As in less than 10 days from the filing of the lawsuit to resolution of the appeal. Wow.

The complaint gets filed on March 17th, in which the treasurer of the California Republican Party (Keith Carlson) state seeks to prevent Debbie Cook -- who's a candidate in the June Democratic (!) primary in the 46th District -- from using the title of "Mayor" in her ballot designation. (Cook is indeed the Mayor of Huntington Beach, but she was elected by the city council, not directly by the electorate.). Later that same week, on Friday, March 21st, the trial court denies a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and orders Cook to sit for a deposition. On Monday, March 24th, Cook files a writ, alongside a stay request, in the Court of Appeal. Which the Court grants later that same day. On Tuesday the Court of Appeal stays the trial, and on Wednesday, Justice Sills publishes a very complete -- and 10-page -- resolution that grants the writ.

That's pretty darn impressive. Great job.

P.S. - Lest one think that all opinions are like Bush v. Gore, it bears at least brief mention that Justice Sills rules against the treasuer of the California Republican Party here -- and goes out of his way to highlight the facial silliness of a Republican challenging the designation of a participant in the Democratic primary -- notwithstanding the fact Justice Sills was formerly a member of the Calilfornia Republican State Central Committee. Sometimes the law is simply the law, and is applied accordingly. And rightly so. (On the other hand, perhaps a cynic would mention that Justice Sills was also a former Mayor -- of Irvine -- in the same City Council context as Debbie Cook in Huntington Beach. But I prefer to, and do, believe in the former.)