“[I]f there ever was an area in which … disinfectant is the most needed, it is in the conducting of elections.”
Court of Appeals Judge William C. Whitbeck, writing for the majority in Practical Political Consulting v. Land.
“[M]any voters may wish to avoid the perceived annoyance and hassle of receiving large amounts of junk mail and solicitations that would result from the disclosure of their particular political convictions.”
Court of Appeals Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly, dissenting.
Whitbeck and Kelly were discussing the competing rationales for and against Freedom of Information Act disclosure of voters’ names, addresses and the political parties’ ballot the voters requested in the 2008 presidential primary.
Joined by Judge Stephen L. Borrello, Whitbeck prevailed on his view that disclosure was necessary to make sure that election officials had complied with a now-unconstitutional statute.
The law required the Secretary of State and other election officials to collect voter information in the 2008 primary and supply it exclusively to the state’s two major political parties.
A political consulting company made a FOIA request for the same information and prevailed in last week’s split-panel decision.
“[A] defendant’s perjury at trial is not exceptional. If it were, ‘a departure might be warranted every time a defendant testified and was found guilty.'”
The panel explained that a defendant’s admitted perjury is not reason enough to exceed the sentencing guidelines.
However, in this case, the trial court found that the defendant was a pedophile. The Baker panel said that was a great reason to ignore the guideline’s 9- to 15-year recommendation instead impose a 25- to 75-year sentence.