Speaker Brian Gosch's effort to make Stephanie Strong pay his lawyer bills gets a hearing on March 22. Strong sued last year to get Gosch off the ballot for violating notary law by notarizing his own nominating petitions. Alas, she committed a comedy of errors (and a violation of state law to boot) and makes it relatively easy for Gosch and his GOP lawyers to argue that she wasted the court's time with a frivolous lawsuit.
In response, Strong offers this pro se brief to the court:
Strong, bless her heart, finally finds a precedent for her initial lawsuit, a case in Pennsylvania where the court invalidated nominating petitions that a judicial candidate had notarized himself, just as Gosch did, and kept him off the ballot. (Of course, the story wouldn't be complete without noting that the lawbreaker in question, Philip J. Berg, is a right-wingnut just like Strong: he's an active birther, arguing in court that President Obama was born in Kenya.)
The Pennsylvania notary statute reads much like the South Dakota statutes that Gosch violated. It's just too bad that Strong and her Rapid City string-pullers couldn't have tracked down this legal precedent on the Googles during the original hearing when it might have made a difference. Now the Berg-Pennsylvania precedent is a new argument, which will have no bearing on the court's determination of whether the monkeyshines Strong put forth in court before Gosch's counter-action constituted a frivolous and malicious action.
It's also too bad that Strong faxed her last ten pages to the court upside down.
I hate seeing Republicans like Gosch use their party's monolithic power to disregard the law and punish those who challenge them. But in this case, Gosch is going to win, and Strong seems incapable of doing anything to stop him.