Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Lillian Greene’s lawsuit to stop reform will fail

Lillian Greene’s suing to stop Issue 6. The county recorder who joined the reform discussions just to try to wreck them is trying again. Not because she’s selfish, she insists: “I’m not bringing this to keep my job,” she says. “There’s a principle there regarding the law.”

Now we get to buzz and wring our hands: Will we really get a new county government in 2011? Or will Greene’s suit – based on high principle, remember! – keep her and other lame ducks in office for two more years, against the voters’ will?

Don’t worry. Her lawsuit is dead on arrival.

The last graf of today’s cleveland.com story tells why. Her lawyer says an appeals court case out of Norton, in Summit County, strengthens her case. He’s wrong.

Voters in Norton chose a weird way to cut the size of their city council. They passed a charter amendment that got rid of two at-large councilmen — but kept the one who’d gotten the most votes in the previous election. The appeals court said that was unconstitutional because it changed the old election's rules two years afterward.

But the court disagreed with the idea that public officials have a “vested right to office.” In other words, voters can decide a politician’s job is unnecessary and get rid of it mid-term. So bye-bye, Lillian!

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