A prominent activist who launched Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch sued in federal court to require the GOP to choose its 2016 presidential nominee based on the decisions of voters and now is fighting to keep that case alive.
WND reported several months ago when attorney Larry Klayman filed a complaint in Leon County Circuit Court in his home state of Florida.
He explained in the complaint that he wants the party to support the candidate the voters pick.
“Plaintiff prays for declaratory relief that Florida’s Republican Party delegates must vote as the Florida Republican electorate decided by way of popular vote during the Florida presidential primary at the Republican National Convention in order to vindicate and preserve the rights of Florida Republican presidential primary voters to cast a meaningful and operative vote and that they must adhere to this popular vote throughout the voting process, no matter how [many] rounds may result.”
Now he’s filed opposition to requests by the defendants to dismiss the action.
In response to submissions by the Republican National Committee, its chief Reince Priebus, the Republican National Part of Florida, and officials Blaise Ingoglia and Ken Detzner, Klayman explained he brought the fight “to ensure that he, and his fellow voters who voted in Florida’s Republican Presidential Primary, are afford their fundamental constitutional right to cast a binding vote for the nomination of the presidential candidate of their choice.”
He wrote, “Instead, the defendants … have threatened to stage what is in effect a coup d’etat at the Republican National Convention to have Florida Republican delegates not vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, prevent Trump from securing the party’s nomination and substitute the establishment candidate of their choice instead.”
Klayman, a former Senate candidate himself in the Florida Republican primary in 2003-2004, and a former federal prosecutor, explained that it has been “forecast by many in the Republican establishment that they would seek to subvert his vote” at the national convention in Cleveland.
That would happen by having pledged delegates vote for someone other than the candidate picked by Florida voters.
“Whether the court ultimately rules in my favor, my vote must be respected. Given the politicization of the judiciary, there is no certainty that I will ultimately prevail, but a Florida citizen and voter such as me had a duty to come forward to try to prevent the perverting of our electoral system and democracy,” Klayman said.
“That the Republican establishment would talk openly and even boast about waging a coup to subvert the people’s vote shows why Trump won the Florida primary and many other state primaries in the first place. This Republican establishment is dishonest and sleazy to the core and a disgrace to the nation our great Founding Fathers pledged their lives, sacred honor and fortunes to create,” he wrote.
He identified several congressional leaders as being his targets.
“In a few weeks, we will celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on or about July 4 at my birthplace of Philadelphia. If the likes of House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham and those other Republican establishment hacks in government and the media, like radio talk show host and CNN commentator Hugh Hewitt, had lived during this historic [era], [they] would not even have been allowed to sweep the floors of Independence Hall, but instead they would have been sent back to England and handed over to King George III so they could rightly become his court jesters.”
He said he’s asked for a fast resolution to set a precedent before the coming convention.
Klayman’s newest filings cite a number of media reports that GOP insiders would like to see “anyone but Trump” nominated at the convention, despite his overwhelming support among GOP voters.
“Jeb Bush, a former Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Florida – the state in which plaintiff voted in the Republican Presidential Primary – has also been identified as being ‘behind a ‘movement’ pushed by delegates to the Republican National Convention … that would change party rules so they can vote for the candidate of their choice instead of who won their states in the primaries,” Klayman alleged.
He wrote, “Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment …. That Florida’s Republican delegates must remain bound to the candidate selected by Florida’s voters, Trump, at the Republican National Convention.”
He continued, “Plaintiff’s complaint raises a critical issue that is fundamental to the basic touchstone of our Democratic government – that our elected official must, in fact, be elected by the people. Defendants here have defrauded plaintiff and Florida’s voters into believing that the vote that was cast at Florida’s Republican Presidential Primary was a binding vote that must be carried through …”
For that reason, he said, the motion to dismiss should be rejected.
When the case was filed, it focused on the concept founded in party rules that delegates may – or may not – be required to vote for the candidate picked by voters in their state.
Generally, delegates must support that state’s chosen candidate for one round of voting, or maybe two. After that, all deals generally are off and negotiations could take a number of paths. The bottom line is that Florida delegates could end up supporting the person their voters rejected, the case alleges.