A recall committee cannot proceed with its effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the state Supreme Court ruled today in a decision that strikes down part of the state constitution.Not content with this sham ruling, a Menendez spokesthing read a well-prepared script and piled it on thick.
Voting 4-2, the justices said parts of the state law and constitution that allow such recalls are unconstitutional. The decision reverses an appellate court, which had said the recall could proceed but stayed its decision to allow Menendez to appeal.
"The text and history of the Federal Constitution, as well as the principles of the democratic system it created, do not allow the states the power to recall U.S. Senators," Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote for the majority.
Menendez's attorney hailed the ruling.
"We are pleased that the New Jersey Supreme Court decided this case correctly in holding that this tea party effort was clearly unconstitutional," attorney Marc Elias said. "We strongly believe that this is the end of the matter. There is no basis for further review as the U.S. Supreme Court is highly unlikely to take up an appeal of a decision in which the U.S. Constitution was upheld on clearly correct grounds."
Afshin Mohamadi, Menendez's spokesman, said the group failed in its attempt targeting an effective senator.Update: According to some helpful legal counsel: "If something in the state constitution conflicts with the U.S. Constitution, then that provision is unconstitutional (because federal law takes supremacy)."
"The New Jersey Supreme Court today ruled that this fringe effort to recall a leader in the fight against special interests is definitively unconstitutional," Mohamadi said. "It is a resounding victory against the tea party’s Washington-based, right-wing corporate backers, who are waging economic war on the middle class. Bob Menendez was their No. 1 target because they want to silence the most effective voices speaking out in defense of the middle class against powerful interests that are stacking the deck against New Jersey’s hard working families, like Big Oil, Big Insurance and corporate polluters.
And upon further questioning: "The Supreme Court would have to rule it eventually to set a uniform standard. Until then, it's up to lower courts to agree or disagree on the proper constitutional interpretation."