One of the lawsuits begins today. From a People for the American Way Press release: A hearing in the nonpartisan lawsuit seeking a revote for disenfranchised voters in Sarasota County's congressional election, as well as in the case brought by congressional candidate Christine Jennings, is scheduled for this afternoon and Wednesday. The nonpartisan lawsuit represents the interests of Republican, Democratic, and independent voters.
The hearing will focus on the discovery process for the suit, especially whether iVotronic voting machine manufacturer ES&S must permit examination of its source code by plaintiffs' independent investigators.
Meanwhile, it looks as though the strategy we expected here on MyDD
, seating Buchanan but ordering a House investigation of the election, is what will actually happen
:Any effort to prevent Buchanan from taking the seat would have to be approved by the full House.
If Pelosi decides to pursue that route, her new majority presumably would vote for it. But a source close to the Democratic leadership, who requested anonymity when discussing party strategy, said Pelosi most likely would let Buchanan take office while ordering an investigation by the House Administration Committee into whether a new election is warranted.
Pelosi is being pressed by Democratic activists to take a tougher stance and block Buchanan from being sworn in.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told Florida's Bay News 9 earlier this month: "You cannot seat someone if you don't have an election that's valid."
The liberal organization MoveOn.org delivered a petition to Capitol Hill on Friday urging Congress to order a new election.
Historically, denying certified winners their seats can be the political equivalent of a bare-knuckles brawl on Capitol Hill. In 1984, partisan tensions ran high in a dispute over what came to be known as Indiana's "Bloody 8th" district.
In that race, Republican Richard McIntyre had been declared the winner by 34 votes one day after the election and by 418 votes after a state-ordered recount. But the Democratic-controlled House refused to seat him. For a time, both McIntyre and the Democratic candidate Frank McCloskey drew congressional pay, but neither was officially seated.
Six months later, after another recount, McCloskey was declared the victor by four votes. Republicans cried foul and stormed out of the chamber when McCloskey was seated. Then-Rep. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said at the time, "This wound will not heal without a terrible price and a scar that will not disappear for many years."
This is probably the safest route to take right now, which keeps the issue alive but does not gum up the first couple weeks of the Democratic House. In the end, however, I don't really care how much Republicans cry foul over the FL-13. The only just solution is a new election, and in a few months hopefully that is the outcome that can be achieved.