Everybody remembers the glittering smile on Tom DeLay when he posed for his mug shot in Texas after being booked on conspiracy and money laundering charges in October of 2005. The corruption charges eventually led to DeLay’s resignation and "The Hammer" officially fell on June 9th, 2006 with his departure from the halls of Congress. In between DeLay’s mugshot and his deeply partisan farewell address (in which he said that he had "few regrets, no doubts," and assured his colleagues that he always served "honorably and honestly"), DeLay also ran for reelection and won a Texas Republican primary in March.
But after winning the primary and subsequently resigning from Congress, DeLay bought a house in Virginia and claimed to have "moved" out of Texas. Texas Republicans then tried to place another candidate on the ballot to avoid a campaign focusing on the corruption of their candidate. The Texas GOP claimed that since Tom DeLay "moved" to Virginia, he no longer lived in Texas and was therefore ineligible to run. Republicans failed to mention that DeLay maintains his house in Sugar Land, Texas, where his wife still lives.
This minor discrepancy has taken a toll on the Texas Republican party in the courts. Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas Republican’s attempt to replace DeLay with another Republican candidate violated both state law and the U.S. Constitution. The decision upheld a July ruling by a federal judge.
The Texas GOP has said it will seek an expedited appeal from the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that a failure to replace DeLay "makes a mockery of our democratic system and denies voters a meaningful choice" (Houston Chronicle). Republicans fail to acknowledge removing DeLay from the ballot is a removal of the candidate elected in March and would replace him with an unelected alternative.
If anyone is making a "mockery" of the democratic system, it is the latest have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too shenanigans from Mr. Tom DeLay.