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Strong Finds Pennsylvania Precedent for Gosch Notary Violation… Will Still Lose

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:

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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.


  1. Wayne Gilbert 2013.01.30

    I think that Gosch's motion shows a lack of class. He did a dumb thing that probably 9 out of 10 Notaries wouldn't have done. Dumb but not unlawful in the sense that the Court ruled that his petitions were not invalid. I think Strong had a legitimate argument. The Court ruled against her, but that doesn't make her argument frivolous. The Court ruled in Gosch's favor and it's time for him to move on.

  2. Douglas Wiken 2013.01.30

    Republican catfights. Food for the gods.

  3. Douglas Wiken 2013.01.30

    Incidentally, an upside-down fax is a terrible thing for a court unable to turn it right-side up....or was the blank back side what the court got?

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.01.30

    Wayne, who said lawyers had any obligation to act with class? Gosch and the GOP act to win. Pure Machiavelli. Strong had a legitimate argument... but I get the distinct impression that she didn't make that argument in court. She'd have stood a better chance if she'd just read my blog posts on Gosch's and Gant's malfeasance verbatim to the judge than going off on whatever tangents she threw at Judge Trandahl last month.

    And Doug... indeed, I would hope the judge can turn some pages right-side up... but never expect the judge to connect any dots for you.

  5. Douglas Wiken 2013.01.31

    Judges should be required to have undergraduate science or engineering degrees. Judicial ignorance of science is a threat to liberty and the environment.

  6. larry kurtz 2013.02.12

    Jabba the Gant was interviewed at an earth hater conference for a piece on Morning Edition:

    ""We don't want to turn over the running of our elections to some bureaucrats in Washington," he said. "We want to keep that at the local level with local elected officials.""

    It was reported that the buffet at the Heritage Foundation had to be restocked after he went through it.

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