Ti-i-i-ime Is On My Side… Yes It Is!

From Holden:

They say that time loves a hero. What does that say about Tom DeLay?

Republicans may need a quick court ruling that former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is ineligible to run for Congress if they are to have a shot at retaining his seat in November.

The former majority leader said last week that he looks forward to a ruling from an appellate court reversing the lower court decision that keeps him on the ballot. But time is of the essence.


Lawyers familiar with DeLay’s qualifications case said it would probably end some time between the end of July and mid-August. But it is impossible to predict how a court might act, they added.


A prolonged lawsuit probably benefits DeLay’s opponent, former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas), who could move forward with his campaign while Republicans try to figure out if DeLay has to remain on the ballot.

Lampson’s campaign has $1.76 million on hand. DeLay’s has less than $1.5 million, and he reported having at least $1.35 million in outstanding legal bills in his 2006 financial disclosure report.

“We would love to have Tom DeLay back in the race. His myriad of ethical problems is a boon to our fundraising operation, and polls show Lampson can win against Delay,” said Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said, “We have no strategy; that is up to the state party. We will do what we do when we know the court’s decision.”

Legal scholars said the best-case scenario for DeLay is to have the court grant a stay against Sparks’s order and an expedited hearing.

Otherwise the appellate court has three options to hear the case, said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. The court could place the case on its summary calendar and effectively dismiss it with a summary judgment, a three-judge panel could rule on the case without hearing oral arguments or the panel could decide to hear the case with oral arguments.

If a three-judge panel rules against DeLay, his lawyers could ask the full court to hear the case or appeal to the Supreme Court.