High drama unfolds in a New Hampshire courtroom; Andy Martin granted amicus curiae status by the court
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Hampshire Republican Party corruption-fighter Andy Martin experiences an unusual high stakes hearing in Strafford County Superior Court
The Strafford County case could determine the outcome of a close presidential election, Andy says
Andy is granted amicus curiae status by the superior court justice
Andy will be in the New Hampshire Supreme Court Friday
Sharp exchanges mark the 2-1/2 hour hearing Thursday afternoon on student voting
(Manchester, NH) (October 5, 2012) “In the forty-four years since I first walked into a courtroom as a public interest litigant, I have almost never seen anything quite like what I witnessed in the Strafford County Superior Court on Thursday,” Andy Martin observes.
“The Strafford County Courthouse is a 1970’s brick and glass moderne structure that sits on a site that is barely removed from being a pasture. Across the street is the county jail and probably in earlier years the county farm (the courthouse is on County Farm Road).
“The superior court justice was whip smart and interested in doing the right thing.
“The dry Associated Press report (link below) which concentrates on Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s affidavit, does not do justice to the drama which unfolded.
“Originally scheduled for an hour, the hearing lasted two and a half hours. There was a battle royal, or maybe just a giant food fight, between the three branches of New Hampshire government.
“The court began by considering three motions to intervene in the case. The court questioned the authority of the Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to intervene as a party; the Speaker was granted amicus curiae status. A vigorous exchange characterized the Speaker’s and the justice’s consideration of the intervention motion.
“Then another intervener was heard, and his motion was denied (and later converted to “ruling deferred”).
“My motion to intervene was then heard by the court.
“The court granted me status as an amicus curiae. After some argument about what was the proper procedure, the justice decided to defer a ruling on my motion to intervene. I was seated at counsel table and the hearing on the merits of the controversy began.
“In what was an unusual scene, the justice began asking the attorney general if he could adequately represent the secretary of state. The justice then addressed the secretary of state directly, and the secretary asked for a time out. Surreal.
“Eventually, Secretary of State Bill Gardner answered the court’s questions for what seemed like an extended period.
“Later there was another sharp exchange between the justice and the Speaker’s counsel.
“The justice appeared to be concerned that the initial hearing in the case held in mid-September might not have been sufficiently adversarial and sufficiently informative for the court. As this is written I have not yet seen an amended order from the justice but I expect one to appear some time Friday.
“My principal contribution to the proceedings was to support the judge in his searching inquiry questioning the plaintiffs ‘standing’ to file the lawsuit, and my succinct discussion of the relationship between ‘standing’ and the court’s subject matter jurisdiction. I will be filing a very informative motion of my own in the Supreme Court on Friday.
“All in all the hearing in Dover was one of the most adversarial and confrontational I have ever seen.
“The constitutional issues are profound. The State House believes the legislators changed the law and did so clearly. There is strong legal authority for that view. Secretary Gardner and I believe the House wanted to end ‘dual domicile,’ which creates a conflict between general residency and voting domicile. As the hearing continued the issues became more complex.
“No one can predict what a supreme court will do. But here is my best guess. I believe the court will accept the new law, accept the amendments and endorse the House’s view that it intended to and did end ‘dual domicile.’ I believe Secretary Gardner and I will prevail on that position. In the meantime, we could see a slugfest next week.
“Fasten your seat belts. This is not a dull case and the hearings are not boring. I have seldom seen such electricity in a courtroom.
“And, hovering over the proceedings is former president Bill Clinton’s exhortation to students at UNH Wednesday afternoon to flood New Hampshire polling places with liberal out-of-state voters.
“Every New Hampshire voter and every New Hampshire taxpayer has a vital interest in the outcome of this lawsuit. Whatever the bland news reports may say, this was an electric hearing Thursday afternoon. Expect more voltage on all sides,” Andy believes.
“Lights, action, cameras.”
[We will distribute our Supreme Court filing after it is delivered to the court Friday afternoon.]
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ABOUT ROMNEY’S RANGERS:
Romney’s Rangers is led by Andy Martin, a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Andy’s family immigrated to New Hampshire 100 years ago, where he now makes his home. Chicago Public Radio calls Andy a “boisterous Internet activist.” The Chicago Tribune calls him “Chicago’s own…political activist.” He has forty-four years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and he produced the Internet film "Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on local, regional, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world.
Andy has been a leading corruption fighter in New Hampshire, Illinois and American politics and courts for over forty-five years. [www.AndyMartin.com] He is currently sponsoring www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; www.EnglishforAmerica.org
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
Andy's columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com
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Labels: Andy Martin, appeal, Attorney General Michael Delaney, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Governor John Lynch, New Hampshire Supreme Court, Secretary of State William Gardner, Strafford County, student voting