A republic, if you think you can keep it: Torricelli and Rule of Law

July 1, 1993

A republic, if you think you can keep it: Torricelli and Rule of Law

By Tim Huwe

What do New Jersey Democrats prefer with their Torricelli pasta? Apparently, it’s whine sauce.

The New Jersey Supreme Court decision allowing Democrats to replace their U.S. Senate candidate, Robert Torricelli, due to lagging poll numbers is a travesty of justice. This is such a big story that it deserves the “ad nausea” coverage it is receiving.

Some of you may be wondering, “Why would it matter to me whether New Jersey is represented by a Democrat or a Republican due to this November’s elections?” That is only part of it. Prior to our country’s founding, most countries were either caste systems or generic monarchies. Ours was different. Instead of a built-in double-standard, ours was to guarantee equality under the law.

As time has progressed, women and racial minorities have also obtained at least virtual equality, but that’s another article.

Our legal system is based on precedent. If a ruling is considered constitutional in one jurisdiction, it is more likely that it will be considered constitutional in the next instance. Even if you are a Democrat hoping that a representative of your party retains the New Jersey Senate seat, your joy may be short-lived.

If you value the concepts of the “Rule of Law” and “Equal protection under the Law,” you should be afraid by this decision. Very afraid.

Tie this to recently passed campaign finance reform. Issue oriented groups will soon be prohibited from running attack ads on federal candidates during the two months before the election. Now, it appears, if a party doesn’t like its candidate or his numbers, they can simply change candidates at the last minute. Citizen activist groups will simply be disregarded. “Rule of Law” will be taken out of the courts and relegated to Trivial Pursuit.

I don’t know whether I should be impressed or not with the rampant apathy the Rockford area is showing for the debate this week. As of the weekend, the Coronado still has tickets available. Free tickets, and they still haven’t sold it out. It is not due to a lack of publicity.

Maybe the Forest City just isn’t sold on the Democrat and Republican candidates. I don’t blame them. Three candidates, at least, are on the ballot for each statewide office. To send a real protest vote, feel free to vote for the candidates who totally oppose the Torricelli decision. That wouldn’t be the elephants or the donkeys.

Tim Huwe is the secretary of the Rockford Libertarians.

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