Allen West Begs for Judicial Activism, Gets None

Not being on good terms with the concept of the rule of law, cashiered ex-Colonel (and soon to be ex-U.S. Rep.) Allen West went to court today to ask for judicial action -- though it was really extrajudicial action he wanted. That's a concept the disgraced former officer knows well.

West's lawyers petitioned Palm Beach Circuit Court Judge David Crow to intervene in West's race to retain his seat in congress, asking the court to impound ballots and voting machines because elections officials couldn't be trusted to count votes accurately. Judge Crow said there were "absolutely no facts presented" to support that claim.

Crow asked what legal basis existed for him to intervene in an election procedure state legislators had refined in painstaking detail in the aftermath of the disaster of Bush v. Gore. West's lawyers cited... Bush v. Gore -- notwithstanding that the language of that perverse decision explicitly states that it is not to be cited as legal precedent in any later case, anytime, anywhere, ever.

After a short break in the proceedings, Crow returned to the bench, said he'd studied the case and the law, and decided that, "aside from all its procedural deficiencies," West's suit was "entirely premature" and "woefully short of even coming close" to satisfying the requirements for an injunction. He denied the request.

West never had a chance, really, and he (and his lawyers) knew it. This wasn't law as much as it was public relations, a cheap stunt designed to lay the groundwork for the claim West is certain to make in future days: that he would have won the election but was "stabbed in the back" by the courts and the system. Has a nice ring to it, and what the hell -- it's worked before.

Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes fatal bite -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact fire.ant@browardpalmbeach.com.

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