Dems File Frivolous Complaint Challenging Authority of Lt. Gov.

By Lloyd the Idiot

As reported in the Post, The Richmond Times-Dispatch and elsewhere, Senator McEachin filed suit today in Richmond City Circuit Court challenging the authority of the Lieutenant Governor to vote on senate rules.

What those other outlets don’t show you, however, is the basis of McEachin’s complaint because, if they did, it would show how ridiculous the Dems are acting.

The Dem’s case is based on a fatally flawed reading of the the following provision of the Constitution of Virginia

 Section 7. Organization of General Assembly.

The House of Delegates shall choose its own Speaker; and, in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor, or when he shall exercise the office of Governor, the Senate shall choose from its own body a president pro tempore. Each house shall select its officers and settle its rules of procedure.

. . .

From any fair reading of it, the LG has, in the event of a tie, the same authority to vote on rules  as he would to vote on legislation.  The LG, as the president of the senate,  is a member of the body for just those purposes. Pretty clear, and just as clearly a lame attempt to save face by whining senate Democrats.  As the RPV said, it’s time for the senate Democrats to admit defeat and get over it.


  • Fred says:

    It’s been obvious for a while Lloyd. Elections only matter to Democrats when they achieve their desired results. When they don’t, then it’s on to Plan B, C, D and E to do whatever it takes to hold power.

  • If positions were reversed, I’d expect Republicans to do the same. And I wouldn’t fault them for doing so because its the nature of politics to push back for power. Anyone who thinks otherwise shouldn’t be in politics.

  • pprados says:

    This lawsuit is such a waste of time. I am looking forward to reading the Complaint so I can rip it to shreds. The VA Constitution is clear that the Lt. Gov. has the power to cast all tie breaking votes, regardless of the procedural or substantive nature of those votes.

    Interesting sidenote, will the AG have to opine on this suit as an interested party? Probably.

  • Jay Hughes says:

    And a minor detail that damages McEachin’s case….the Lt. Gov.’s salary and the funding for his office (like staff, phone bill, etc) comes from the money budget for the Senate’s operation…just one more indicator that the Lt. Gov is a member of the body as its presiding officer and can vote to settle tie votes for rules just as he would for legislation.

    I’ll say to the Democrats what I say to my fellow Republicans when we lose majorities fair and square. You lost fair and square. Get over it. Instead of resorting to distraction and silly parlor tricks, you endure your minority status and next election cycle work like hell to get your majority back.

  • McEachin knows this is a hopeless case they have no chance of winning. After getting shellacked in 2009, 2010 and 2011 the Democrat leadership has to look like they are doing something.

    This way they can blame the judicial branch for the outcome, not their own shortcomings. It will also be used to fire up whatever spark is left in the discouraged Democrat base for the battle in 2012 … where they will get shellacked again.

  • Fred says:

    It’s also probably a fundraising ploy for the DPV. “Send money so we can defend you against those Republicans.”

  • David Dickinson says:

    This is the best thing that could happen for Bolling. The publicity of him fighting Democrats is good for his campaign.

  • As I mentioned, I agree with the lawsuit. Stranger things have happened than if Dems would win here.

    But I also agree with David, that this is helpful to Bolling. Anything that raises his visibility in a pro-Republican way is a plus for him.

  • enviroman says:

    LI – You’re obviously not a strict constructionist. The Constitution says the “house” selects its officers and settles it rules of procedure. What is the “house’? The answer is right there in Section 3 of the Constitution:

    Section 3. House of Delegates.

    The House of Delegates shall consist of not more than one hundred and not less than ninety members, who shall be elected biennially by the voters of the several house districts on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November.

    It doesn’t say the House of Delegates includes the Lt. Governor, and it doesn’t allow more than 100 members (it already has 100 delegates).

    Frivolous? Definitely not. Unwieldy? Yes in this situation. But it’s the Constitution.

  • […] Donald McEachin, who had previously filed a frivolous suit  challenging the authority of Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to break ties in the Virginia State Senate, […]

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