Glenn Smith: On the Sparks Ruling
Judge Sam Sparks today ruled with Democrats, ordering that Tom DeLay remain on the ballot in his congressional district.
Sparks' language is powerful and unambiguous:
"Political acumen, strategy, and manufactured evidence, even combined with a sound policy in mind, cannot override the Constitution."
In other words, DeLay and his GOP co-conspirators had concocted a political scheme to have DeLay declared ineligible to serve in Congress. This was all a ploy to save the GOP from embarrassment due to DeLay's indictments and many ethical black marks.
The importance of the ruling goes beyond DeLay. The Court has put the freedom to vote and the integrity of the Constitution and election law ahead of partisan schemes.
Ultimately, the Democratic Party's greatest success in this case is their steadfast support for the rights of voters, for free and open elections. This is a win for popular democracy, for too long under assault by the right wing.
Here is the full opinion.