Tom Delay and The Fun of Election Law

Tom Delay and the Republican Party of Texas are learning the joys of election law. On Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that Delay cannot be taken off of the ballot in Texas because he won the primary and isn’t dead or otherwise not qualified to run. The Washington Post and the New York Times. As the Times reports:

The 3-to-0 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, is a victory for Texas Democrats, who have voiced hope that Mr. DeLay’s involvement in a series of lobbying and campaign finance scandals will help elect a Democrat to the seat. Unless an appeal to the Supreme Court keeps him off the ballot, Mr. DeLay, the former House majority leader, will become a candidate against his wishes and remain in the spotlight, a potent symbol for Democrats in races nationwide.

The appellate panel affirmed a ruling by a federal district judge in Austin who rejected claims by Mr. DeLay and the Texas Republican Party that he was ineligible to run because he had moved to Virginia. The Constitution requires only that a Congressional candidate be a resident of the district on Election Day, not before it, the judges ruled. Whether or not Mr. DeLay chooses to run, they said, his name and his name alone would stay on the Republican line.

For those of you who want to have weekend reading for the beach, you can read the entire opinion here.