The Des Moines Register had a story about State Auditor Rob Sand standing up and saying “Enough” when it comes to paying any additional lawyer’s fees for former Governor Terry Branstad. To that we would like to say “Thank You, Mr. Sand.” The Governor had his day in court in front of a jury. The jury found Branstad at fault and the award was set at $1.5 million, which we as taxpayers will pay.
We as taxpayers are paying the freight for Branstad on this one. Our feeling is that if he wants to appeal he can do so on his own nickel. Lawyers fees in this case for Branstad’s defense and fees for the litigant Chris Godfrey are in the millions:
Roxanne Conlin, a Des Moines attorney who represented Godfrey, is seeking $4.1 million for fees and costs for her work on the case.
Branstad’s lawyers have not submitted a bill for all fees, but their costs have neared $2 million and will climb as they seek to have the verdict overturned and the case either dismissed or retried.
Appealing would make sense if there were some major issue of law in contention. However, this case seems only to be one of pride for the Governor:
Sand said he’s hoping for a conclusion to the case, and said he tried to offer a variety of reasons the state should not pay for an appeal in the hopes that some Republicans might agree with his argument.
“I realize the Executive Council members I am asking to help end this matter share their party affiliation with the defendants,” Sand wrote in the letter. “This does not have to be a determination made on tribal instincts.”
Sand also criticized the language used by attorneys for the state in a post-trial motion seeking to have the verdict dismissed. The motion called the trial “a show trial,” “a charade” and “a political circus.”
Enough is enough, Mr. Branstad.
In an unrelated case we have a group that calls itself Equal Vote America filing a lawsuit in New York contending that Senators Mitch McConnell and Iowa’s own Charles Grassley “breached the Separation of Power and a gross violation of Due Process” for their refusal to hold hearings for President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the SCOTUS:
On March 16, 2019, Equal Vote America Corp. (EVA) has filed a civil lawsuit against Mitch McConnell and Charles Grassley at the U.S. DistrictCourt for the Southern District of New York (CASE # 1:19-cv-02346) on the ground that their refusal to conduct any senate confirmation process for ChiefJudge Garland’s nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court represented a blatant breach of Separation of Power and a gross violation of Due Process, anda brazen suppression of the will of the majority voters voted for PresidentObama in the 2012 Election.
Today (09/03/2019), EVA refiled the lawsuit in order to include over 2,500 individuals who have signed the online affidavit as co-Plaintiffs joining the action (CASE # 1:19-cv-08178). This case has become the largest grass-root ordinary citizenry legal action to defend the Constitution in our country’s history.
Multiple news sources (CNN, Politico) reported on 05/28/2019 that McConnell said the Republican-controlled Senate would fill an opening seat on the Supreme Court of the United States if a justice were to die in 2020. This is in stark contrast with McConnell’s complete blockade of the Garland nomination by President Obama. Aside from the obvious hypocrisy and partisan power grab, McConnell’s own words added further evidence to support our lawsuit.”
There is a link at the story for others to sign on as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Litigants are seeking:
The Redress we are seeking is for the Court to Review and Declare that:
the Defendants’ refusal of confirmation process to a presidential nomination is unconstitutional.
the Defendants shall be held in contempt of the Constitution.
the same well-established long-standing confirmation process shall be guaranteed for all presidential nominations in the future.
This lawsuit may go nowhere. Nor will it correct the real damage of Grassley’s clear flaunting of the Constitution – that is the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Court in the place of Merrick Garland. If they do get a decision it will be like locking the barn door after the horse has escaped. At least Grassley may at least have to answer some questions about why he refused to do his constitutionally prescribed duties.
One question many would like answered that will probably not get asked is why did Grassley do what he knew to be wrong in refusing to even give Garland a hearing? Was Grassley privy to some potential election rigging and thus felt assured that his machinations would not be called out?