Judge sets hearing for Kucinich lawsuit against Texas Democrats
01/03/2008, Associated Press
A court hearing has been set next week for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich in his effort to secure a spot on the Texas primary ballot, a judge said Thursday.
The hearing is in response to a lawsuit Kucinich filed Wednesday against the Texas Democratic Party, which informed the candidate that he would not be on the ballot because his application was invalid. Kucinich refused to sign a loyalty oath to support the eventual Democratic nominee for president.
Kucinich, along with country music star Willie Nelson, filed a lawsuit to get Kucinich on the ballot in Texas. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel set a Jan. 11 hearing in the case.
The civil lawsuit was delivered late Wednesday afternoon to U.S. District Court for the Western District of the United States, Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz said later Wednesday.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order to stop the Texas Democratic Party from certifying to the Texas Secretary of State a list of candidates and to restrict the secretary of state from accepting any list that doesn’t include the name of a qualified candidate who refuses the loyalty oath.
The party must certify candidates by Monday, although the court could order them to certify a candidate after that date, said Scott Haywood, a spokesman for Secretary of State Phil Wilson.
Kucinich, a congressman from Ohio, also wants the court to declare that the oath requirement violates the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment in the Constitution.
“He’s right to challenge a blind loyalty oath to the Democratic Party because it’s un-American,” Willie Nelson said in a news release from the Kucinich campaign.
Calls to the Texas Democratic Party for comment were not immediately returned.