Nevada: Court Rules Strip Caucuses Can Proceed

Update: The Judge threw out the teachers' union lawsuit. Strip caucus voting will proceed. From the court docket available on PACER:
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS - Preliminary/Permanent Injunction Hearing held on 1/17/2008 before Judge James C. Mahan. ...Time of Hearing: 9:00 am.; Courtroom: 6A; Representations of counsel are heard. The court made its findings.denying 6 Motion for TRO.; granting 10 Motion to Intervene. Submission of Proposed Order obo defendants due by 1/24/2008. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - DXO) (Entered: 01/17/2008)

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports:

U.S. District Judge James Mahan has ruled against the attempt by the teachers union to block at-large precincts on the Strip. Mahan said he did not want to set a precedent that could affect other caucuses across the country and that the Democratic Party had the right to set its own rules.

The Las Vegas Sun says no appeal is likely.



Nevada: Court Ruling Expected Today in Casino Voting Lawsuit

Nevada watchers predict a ruling today in the lawsuit filed by the Nevada teachers union against the state democratic party regarding the creation of at-large caucuses in the Las Vegas Strip hotels. (Background here.)

Whatever the merits of the suit's substantive claims, timing may be what kills it:

The state party and the national committee are fighting the lawsuit on several grounds, including the last-minute nature of the challenge. “By sitting on their hands until a few days before the caucus ... plaintiffs have forfeited any claim,” the response said, citing a doctrine that bars abusive 11th-hour challenges. The response also notes that four of the plaintiffs voted in favor of the plan to create the at-large sites. The lawsuit was filed by five Democrats and the Nevada State Education Association, the teachers union.

Documents: The teachers union lawsuit; the DNC's motion to intervene; and the state party's delegate-at-large plan. (See below for more I just uploaded from the court's website.)

Other tidbits: The Las Vegas Sun favors the lawsuit. The Las Vegas Review Journal has endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.[More...]

The Sun says:

As we see it, the caucuses were moved up so that all labor organizations and minorities in the state could get a bigger say, not just the Culinary Union.

I'd like to see some numbers regarding the number of workers who aren't being afforded an at-large caucus to vote at during work hours. The rule that they are only being created at work sites with more than 4,000 shift workers on duty at the time of the caucus strikes me as a bit exclusionary to non-hotel workers such as teachers, emergency workers, plumbers, electricians, etc. The caucuses are on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m.

Again, I'm not taking sides in this -- it's not my area of expertise -- I'm just trying to interpret the pleadings.

Update: More documents (note, they may open only in adobe pdf, not other pdf programs.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    Yeah, laches seems to be the trump card here. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Geekesque on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 11:23:59 AM EST
    I don't think it had much merit anyways, legally or ethically.  This isn't a general election, so the standards is going to be much higher.

    Non-Vegas Casinos (none / 0) (#2)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 11:33:29 AM EST
    Does anyone know if the size issue basically exempts casino workers outside of Vegas from getting at-large voting as well?

    I don't think it matters in the least as a legal argument, I'm just curious.

    They should've filed this suit earlier.  I understand why they didn't (most people don't care about unfairness until it gores their particular ox), but as a legal matter, I do think the lateness hurts them a great deal, unless they can show some recent change to the system or some aspect of the system they only recently learned about.

    J has a link. Only Clark County (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 12:48:45 PM EST
    casinos qualify.

    Weird (none / 0) (#10)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:47:43 PM EST
    Setting aside the merits of the lawsuit, which I see below got tossed, am I the only one who thinks the Nevada caucus is screwy?  

    I generally agree that the Democratic party can do this however they want, it's their delegates to their convention, but what they've set up in Nevada makes no sense at all.  A caucus in a state dominated by hospitality worker industry?  Taking steps to make sure some of those workers can participate and not others?  What's so special about casino workers in Vegas, but not Reno?  

    My candidate may very well win Nevada, but this is still no way to run an election.  


    Implications for DNC (none / 0) (#3)
    by commissar on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 11:44:50 AM EST
    If this suit prevails, would seem to be potentially horrific:
    All caucuses challengeable.
    All primaries that award delegates by uneven districts or counties challengeable.
    Super-delegates challengeable.
    Weighting of delegate between states challengeable.

    The Judge and I (none / 0) (#12)
    by commissar on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:57:00 PM EST
    must be confused.

    Mahan said he did not want to set a precedent that could affect other caucuses across the country and that the Democratic Party had the right to set its own rules.

    it wouldn't be all caucuses (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:01:47 PM EST
    that could be challenged. The challenge only applied to newly created at large caucuses. to imply all caucuses in the country could be challenged is an exaggeration in my view.

    as to why not filed earlier (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 11:58:38 AM EST
    the plaintiff's filed affidavits explaining.

    As to the commenter above who said all caucuses would be challengeable, that's not the case. Read the pleadings.

    I doubt the judge will buy it. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Geekesque on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 12:12:12 PM EST
    There was plenty of disclosure ahead of time.  Two days after the endorsement is just too suspicious--and the delay here is extremely prejudicial to the state party.

    Thanks, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#6)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 12:41:02 PM EST
    I don't know why I missed your links to the underlying pleadings when I first read your post.

    no one seems to be (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:02:13 PM EST
    live-blogging the hearing or reporting on it. It started two hours ago.

    links must be in html format (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:48:21 PM EST
    or they skew the site. I just had to delete two comments with links to news of the decision. Feel free to repost correctly.

    No problem. I just posted them (none / 0) (#14)
    by Geekesque on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:02:34 PM EST
    for informational purposes.

    appreciated and I added them to (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:03:13 PM EST
    the main post.

    Is it because of (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jgarza on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:31:30 PM EST
    the google algorithm?