Help us beat last year's record of $7100!
Awesome! We are half way to our goal!
|Goal: $7,200||Donations so far: $6687.20|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate today!
Conservapedia:Recall attempt on Robert Menendez/NSCJ Transcript
- Main article: Recall attempt on Robert Menendez
The following is a transcript of Andy Schlafly's Oral Arguments and Examination before the New Jersey Supreme Court, May 25 2010 during the recall attempt on Robert Menendez.
Statements by A. Schlafly are in plaintext; the questions and statements of the Justices are indented and italicized.
Thank you Mr Chief Justice and may it please the Court. Our New Jersey Constitution emphasizes that all political power is inherent in the people. This is not just one little issue tucked away here. Our constitution is based on this principle. All political power is inherent in the people. The first three words of the US Constitution are "we the people". The Declaration of Independence states that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. These are fundamental principles of our republic. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held likewise.
Justice Kennedy, writing in the recent Citizens United decision the petitioner just cited, said "a republic where people are sovereign." That's our nation. Its bipartisan, this goes across political bounds. Uh, Justices William Douglas and Hugo Black along with Chief Justice Earl Warren stated in a dissent a long time ago, quote, "Under our constitution it is we the people who are sovereign. The people have the final say." those are their words. The legislators are their spokesmen. That's the basis of our government. Senators are not above the law.
The Burden citation the petitioner used was a case where Senator Burden tried to say 'you can't convict me because I'm a US Senator' and the Supreme Court said, no, senators are not above the law. Senators are not above the people, either. Senators are representatives of the people. Senators are public servants; they're servants of the people. The people; the ones who pay the bills, fight the wars, build our hospitals. They include our parents; we may not always like the authority of the people but we respect their power, and that's what this case is about.
Now petitioner frequently said that the Founders made this determination when they put together the US Constitution, and somehow the Founders denied the power of recall to the people. That's not true. In fact the law review article by Bybee, which petitioner cites in his brief, says quote: "Apparently the delegates did not even consider a right of recall of senators" They didn't even consider it. The, uh, fiction that the constitutional convention rejected the power of recall comes about because in the Virginia plan, which was a highly detailed plan of how the legislature for the United States would operate, there was a detail, in the Virginia plan, that had the power of recall. But the Virginia plan was rejected, as we know, for reasons having nothing to do with the power of recall. That's the only time it came up in the Constitutional Convention. Again, Bybee, the scholar that petitioner cites, says the issue -- delegates did not even consider a right of recall of senators.
- Justice LaVecchia: And then the next sentence says that Luther Martin objected to this oversight, bringing it to the attention of other members. So this was an issue that was debated and considered. It simply was never advanced.
Justice LaVecchia, Justice LaVecchia, it was debated after the Constitutional Convention was over. Many months after. When it came to New York, and New York was opposing ratification of the Constitution for other reasons, because New York was a big state, and then they started to argue like lawyers, and the people against ratification said 'oh, there's this problem, there's this problem, there's this problem.' So it was long after the constititution was drafted and formalized it became a debate again
- Justice LaVecchia: You think everyone did not realize that they were presenting a draft that purposely did not have recall in it, is that really what you're suggesting at this point in time?
Absolutely, Justice LaVecchia. It was not considered. It was not rejected.
- Justice Albin: Well, the, the Constitution did not go into effect until the ratifying conventions adopted it. So - correct?
That's correct, Justice Albin.
- Justice Albin: But you would agree that the conversations during the ratifying convention debates are important to our discussion, correct?
....I agree it has some significance, Justice Albin
- Justice Albin: OK, you mentioned the ratifying convention in New York.
- Justice Albin: Ok. Are you familiar with Gilbert Livingston
- Justice Albin: who was one of -, are you familiar with the resolution he introduced?
- Justice Albin: So, I'll, I'll read it to you:
- Justice Albin: Resolved that no person shall be eligible as a Senator for more than six years in any term of twelve years and that it shall be in the power of the legislature of the several states to recall their senators, or either of them, and to elect others in their stead to serve for the remainder of the time for which such senators, or senators-so-called, were appointed. Now, he wanted that attached, that amendment attached to New York's decision, before New York adopted the federal constitution. So my question to you is, why was he making that resolution, and why was Robert Livingston and Alexander Hamilton and Melankin Smith all debating that issue before the New York ratifying convention, if they believed that, that the federal constitution included, uh, a recall provision?
Justice Albin, this is not legislative history, that you're describing, because the Constitution has already been finalized, it's already been ratified by other states, it's already been ratified, and it's not coming up to argument
- Justice Albin: It's not going into effect until nine states have ratified it, and it wasn't ratified by the time the New York delegates had met at that ratifying convention.
- Justice Albin: It wasn't in existence, the Constitution....
That's correct Justice Albin, but this is late in the game, this is not intent, in formulating the constitution
- Justice Albin: This isn't late in the game, this is, this is in 1788, ok? That's when those ratifying conventions were. 17.. September 17th, 1787, they signed their names, it goes to the states. That's the New York ratifying convention. These people are all debating about whether or not there's a recall provision. Now you tell me why they're debating that if all these people thought there was a recall provision in the federal constitution.
Because, Your Honor, they're politicians, fighting the Constitution for a variety of reasons, and for reasons much bigger than the issue of recall. New York antifederalists opposed ratification of the constitution for reasons much bigger than...
- Justice Albin: I just read to you a resolution introduced by Gilbert Livingston that precisely dealt with the recall. He was demanding that that be attached to New York's concurrence to the.. to the.. federal constitution. And I can read to you, if you want, the debates going back and forth about whether a recall is good or not good. All debated. And you're, and you're telling me that they were just wasting their time because that was already in the federal constitution.
Your Honor, I'm saying as the scholar said, it was an oversight, and now after a number of states have ratified it, people are starting to pull up a lot of oversights. It's an elegant,
- Justice Albin: Well tell me why...
It's a brief, elegant document, it doesn't have everything in there. Constitution doesn't say that the national government can establish a national bank. It says you can't, in fact they rejected it and then the government did it anyway
- Justice Albin: Let's stick to recall. Tell me why Luther Martin, George Mason, Elbridge Gerry, all of who were delegates to the federal constitution, all of whom did not sign the federal constitution, all spoke down the federal constitution because it didn't have a recall provision.
Justice Albin, I would question whether that was the reason they were really against ratification...
- Justice Albin: Well I can give you their words...
..they were against the Constitution for ..much bigger reasons
- Justice Albin: You.. you mean they.. they were using those words talking down the recall provision because they had ulterior motives?
I, I'm saying their opposition was much bigger than recall. If I could, let me read the words of George Washington, which I, I think would be the starting point here, it was in all my briefs, petitioner didn't mention it once in his argument. Less than two months after George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention, he wrote a letter to his nephew Bushrod Washington, ok? This is a sincere letter. This is not an attorney arguing. This is, this is like writing to his diary, ok? and he's telling you this is the way it is. Quote: "The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes and for certain limited periods to representatives of their own choosing, and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest or not agreeable to their wishes their servants can and undoubtedly will be recalled." George Washington. Less than two months after he presided over the Constitutional Convention. Now.. In sort of, weighing the evidence, historical evi-, wouldn't that have tremendous evidence? Wouldn't that be
- Justice Albin: Well how bout, how bout the Articles of Confederation which specifically had a recall provision?
- Justice Albin: So, could, would you concede that the people who met in Philadelphia knew the term recall, were familiar with it? It was not only in the Articles of Confederation, it was in at least two state constitutions, or colonial constitutions
Justice Albin, the Articles of Confederation is a much more detailed document, and recall, although it was provided for, was not used. So, with all due respect, I don't think it was preeminent in the delegate's minds, this power of recall, because it wasn't used. It wasn't a topic of discussion. The constitution is a brief, elegant document. There are many rights of the people that are not in the Constitution. There's no freedom of association in the US Constitution. It's a very important right.
- Justice laVecchia: In the Bybee article that you cited, it discusses the fact that the founders did vote to strike language that would have made members of the house of representatives subject to recall. That's the sentence immediately before the one that you read where it's acknowledged that no such amendment was even advanced in respect of senators. So recall was a matter that was being debated and considered and rejected by the members of the convention at the time.
Well Justice LaVecchia, that's an excellent point, but of course House of Representatives, they're reelected every two years. I mean its, we could state a reasonable person say, well recall a member of the House, well, it's every two years, (unintelligible)
- Justice laVecchia: Well, that it was considered explicitly certainly undermines your argument based on silence, does it not?
Well, I have to, Justice LaVecchia, with all due respect, I have to give precedence to Washington's own view, that was (unintelligible)
- Justice Albin: [talking over]: But explain why they were debating the issue in the ratifying convention.
I hate to...
- Justice Albin: And they were pretty smart people , its Alexander Hamilton who was actually down in Philadelphia; he's debating with , with Gilbert Livingston and Robert Livingston an Melankin Smith, and I'm sparing you a reading of those debates; they're all debating it, and you're saying, well, jeez, they were debating nothing; that was already in there
Justice Albin, there are, you can write a PhD thesis on all the debates that are had about the constitutional convention, you can fill this room with the books. Last night I looked in the Federalist Papers and I searched on Recall, in the Federalist papers -pretty comprehensive work - it's not discussed.
- Chief Justice Rabner: Why don't we focus our attention, then, on the language of the Supreme Court looking at the Thornton case, where contrary to the arguments I think I understood you advance, nine Justices have written that the framers decided to reject recall. It is at footnote 20 in the majority decision, and even in the dissent at page 890: "such a power would approximate a power of recall which the framers denied to the states." And then the supreme court in the majority opinion also speaks to the George Washington letter that you've referenced, speaking about that as a need for re-election rather than mandatory rotation and saying that that, um, argument finds support in the George Washington letter. So we're not starting on a clean slate: how do your arguments square with Thornton?
Several ways, Chief Justice. First of all, term limits is really the opposite of recall. Term limits is an across-the-board restriction on the power of the people, ok? Term limits ties the hands of the people. If the people want to keep reelecting someone to the Senate, uh , that's the people's power. If the people are sovereign, they can keep reelecting and reelecting and reelecting the same people to the Senate. Term limits said no, you can't do that. So term limits took power away from the people. That's the opposite of recall. And recall is sort of a laser-like approach that says no, we're not going to affect all these senators, not going to have an across-the-board-rule, we're going to say, if there's someone who's not representing you, we're going to make a very high threshold for what you have to do to recall the person. And it's very high. And part of the problem with this case, quite honestly, is the way that the senator is trying to get the court to intervene before the people can even speak
- Justice Albin: You're saying the threshold is high here, in New Jersey. If we accept your argument that there is a RIGHT to recall, then the threshold could be at any level; it could be at 5%, it could be at 10%, and, if we accept your argument, a state would be able to permit recall numerous times during any six-year period.
Justice Albin, I don't agree that a power of recall means that the threshold can be set arbitrarily low; we have many rights and obligations in society that depends on the threshold, uh,
- Justice Albin: If you're saying that recall is not prohibited by the federal constitution, and therefore is reserved to the states, what restriction would there be on the states to, um, craft a recall statute with a low threshold and, if it wished, permit recall any number of times within a six-year period?
Justice Albin, if a factual record were developed, which is the way this case should be approached, let's get a factual record and see, and if a factual record were developed that, where someone could conclude, or Your Honors could conclude, 'this is disruptive', OK? Maybe some of these arguments, that are just speculation right now, you Justices might, after a factual record, you might say, well, OK maybe there's something here, maybe it's disruptive. Maybe the threshold's too low. Then, perhaps, you could say the threshold's too low. The Cook v. Braylight (? ) case, which petitioner cited, where the Supreme Court did strike down the way Louisiana held its elections -- pardon me, that was the Foster case, where Louisiana had it's elections a month before the general elections, so in Louisiana they had this system where all the candidates would run against each other, in October, and you had the election, and if someone got more than 50%, he's elected, and there's no election on the general election day. The Supreme Court looked at the factual record, and they said, when we decide whether this is not constitutional, let's see how many people were getting elected in October, rather than November. And they said 80% are getting elected in October - that's too many. There's a problem here. There's a problem. Basically, Louisiana is having its elections in October rather than November, and that's why they struck it down. On the basis of a factual record. Not on the basis of speculation that Oh My Gosh, we don't know, wha, you know, the Senator's gonna have to come back to New Jersey, and he's gonna have to fight this thing [shrugs]. Maybe that's a good thing; I mean maybe that's a good thing having the Senator back in New Jersey.
- Justice Rivera-Soto: Mr. Schlafly, is there a distinction to be made between a recall election and a recall, and that what we're talking about here is proceeding on a recall--possibly proceeding on a recall election as opposed to a recall?
Justice Rivera-Soto, that's an excellent point, and I think that you're, you're getting at the problem here in petitioner's argument, that he hasn't been recalled. What we're talking about here is some healthy petitioning activity, that works well in New Jersey. We've had this recall statute here for 15 years. It works well on the local level. I did some research in preparation for this argument. In Morris County there were no recalls for 10 years, then all of a sudden in 2006 two mayors were recalled. And they've looked at the turnout, when people vote in these recalls there's huge turnout. It's healthy.
- Justice Albin: You know that's not, that's not the question before us. Recall may be terrific; the question is whether it's, it's prohibited by the federal constitution. We're not here to say whether we're in favor of a recall in some abstract sense; the question is whether or not the framers of the federal constitution; the people who drafted the 17th amendment, intended a senator to serve for six years. Period. Six years, at, after which time they could run for reelection and be thrown out of office. That's the, that's the issue.
But Justice Albin, no one has been recalled. I mean, the supreme court would want to see a factual record, as they saw, as they looked at and used in the Foster case about the Louisiana primary election system. As they've used...
- Justice Albin: (interrupting) Now, you want, us to wait until 1.3-plus-million people sign a petition, and then if it's unconstitutional, tell them 'sorry, too late that you went through all that trouble...
Generally, thats... Courts wait for an issue to be presented to them in a factual kind of.. I can't go and say I don't like that law over there...
- Justice Long: And if they fall short, we don't adjudicate it then, and we wait for the next million-three to do it with respect to the next senator.
Justice Long, usually someone can't go running into court, to get a statute declared unconstitutional, get the New Jersey Constitution declared unconstitutional, to throw out George Washington's letter, to speculate... when nothin's happened! I mean... what petition
- Justice Long: I can understand why you're relying on George Washington's letter, but really it is a, a slim reed in light of the rest of the history of the Constitution to suggest that the Framers intended some recall by the state. A mighty slim reed.
Well, Justice Long, with all due respect, it's the closest to the Constitutional Convention, and the Federalist Papers don't discuss it, and historians have picked bits and pieces that occurred nine months later, when attorneys were arguing (???) course they argue about everything.
- Justice Albin: The Federalist Papers did address it, they, they, they addressed why they put a six year term in. You, you, you have Madison's Federalist Paper #63, where he's... And Hamilton spoke to the issue too, where they did not w-- they did not want Senators to be subject to the fits and passions of the moment. They believed that they were selecting people of character, who should be using their own judgement in making decisions for the national good. And at the expiration of six years, if the people thought that they didn't act in their best interests, then they could be booted out of office. That's what they spoke about in the Federalist Papers.
And Justice Albin, nobody has any quarrel with the fixed term. Clerkships are hired for a fixed term. But we all know the judge at any time can say, 'this isn't working out, you're gone, I'm going to hire a replacement.' OK, I get 30 minutes to speak; I understand that if any time Chief Justice wants to tell me to sit down, that's, that's the way it goes. Okay, that's the way sovereigns work. So the six-year term has nothing to do with a huge outcry by the people who say you're not representing the state.
- Justice Albin: Well, first of all, in 1787, since all the senators were being elected by the legislature, if we accepted your interpretation, any time there was a shift in the political composition of the legislature, they would be recalling their senator, as soon as the party system developed. So if the legislature had selected a Democrat, for instance to, or a Republican to go to the United States Senate, then once the Federalists took over they would recall the person because he wasn't of their political party. Do you think they had that in mind?
Justice Albin, that's, that's speculation, and there was respect, there was...
- Justice Albin: But, but we know that didn't happen. We know historically that didn't happen.
And the people have respect for senators too. The idea that if the power of recall were given to the people that they would willy-nilly yank all these senators back and would cause chaos, it's, it's speculation. There's no evidence of it.
- Justice Albin: Up until the 17th amendment, in 1913, the people did not directly elect senators, correct?
- Justice Albin: So that was up to the legislature.
- Justice Albin: So, if we accepted your position, up until 1913, once the legislature switched political parties, they would obviously recall their senator. They'd recall him to put someone of their own political stripe there. And somehow or other, that didn't happen, up until 19, up until 1913.
Because Justice Albin, there is a basic respect. Even a bipartisan respect. For senators. And the people who are signing these petitions will take it seriously. I don't think we're giving enough credit to people of both political parties [ed note: !] that they're not, that people are not going to sign a petition to recall someone unless there's a real feeling that it's deserved, and I'd like to cite a few examples if I could. I put in my brief. Harrison Williams, regrettably, was a senator from New Jersey who was indicted, convicted, and sentenced to jail in the 80's. And he continued to insist on representing New Jersey throughout that whole two year ordeal. And, is the suggestion that the people of New Jersey can do nothing about that?
- Justice Albin: Why aren't you looking to the words of the Constitution? Let's, let's turn to the 17th Amendment. Okay. The 17th Amendment is passed in 1913, correct?
- Justice Albin: It's in the middle of the Progressive era, correct?
Yes, Your Honor.
- Justice Albin: The, the members of the, the United States Congress who passed that amendment were very familiar with the terms 'initiative referendum' and 'recall'. Correct?
- Justice Albin: Those were all the political talking points at the turn of the 20th century. And even during the discussions in Congress the term 'recall' comes up, and it's not placed in the 17th Amendment. Don't, don't you think that's an indication that the, that the United States Senate, and the Congress, that were now making this tremendous innovation to permit direct election of the people, by the people of the United States Senate, were not including the recall provision? That they were familiar with? Because it was all the rage of debate at the time?
Justice Albin, it may have come up, in passing, once. It was not a subject of debate and discussion. Frankly, it's not a very pleasant topic, and it's easy to understand how, when people are crafting a document that's going to rule our people and guide us for hopefully hundreds of years that they would not put in every detail, and particularly not unpleasant details to (muddy?) up the document.
- Justice Albin: Well how 'bout Representative Simms, who was a proponent of recall, and said that he wasn't gonna actually suggest that amendment because he thought it was going to be a poison pill... if fact I'm using that term, and somehow perhaps bring down the whole amendment, so therefore he decided not to include it. It, it, that indicates that the members of that congress that were passing the 17th Amendment, send it on to the states, were very much familiar with the term 'recall' and what it entailed.
Justice Albin, that's the only instance, and as I said it was not debated, and even petitioner concedes the 17th Amendment did not take away the right to recall. Even petitioner argues it left things in the status quo, and, and, by the way, we might add, the senators, were, were pressured, kicking and screaming, into passing the 17th Amendment. There was a whole history to that where they did not, eh, they were not willing partners in that, where the people would elect them; they resisted it then. They resisted the sovereignty of the people then. Of course, they lost. And New Jersey had a place
- Justice Albin: Well, they passed it.
Well, they did, and the reason they passed it was because the states were about to call a constitutional convention. And after the Senators resisted, resisted, resisted, finally the Progressives won. And they passed it. But they passed it with a minimum number of words; they do refer to vacancies in there, and that term vacancies is not defined, uh that term vacancies could include the power of recall, um. In the term limits decision, uh, four of the Justices, Justice Thomas leading them, wrote, "where the Constitution is silent, it raises no bars to action by the states or the people." And here we have a situation where the Constitution is silent, we've got a letter by George Washington within two months of -- well, Justice Alvin, with all due respect,
- Justice Albin: Well, I mean, the only thing you can find is some hand note by Washington, and you seem to want to disregard the Federalist Papers, the people who were, other people who were at the Constitution, the ratifying Convention
- Justice LaVecchia: The Articles of Confederation
George Washington writing a letter to his nephew within two months of the Convention carries more weight than an ar-- attorneys and politicians arguing about it nine months later after a number of states have already ratified the thing.
- Justice LaVecchia: It's still a private letter
Well, Justice LaVecchia, all the more reason - its sincerity and its truth is compelling ...
- Justice LaVecchia: It may be sincere, but we don't know how precise he was in the use of language ; the use of the word 'recall' as Senator Menendez points out is a bit ambiguous; it could have been referring to reelection as opposed to your use of the word.
Your Honor, with all due respect, he uses the word "whenever." He says "whenever" the representatives act contrary to the interests of the people, and this is in the context of his talking how the people are sovereign - what does that mean, if the people are sovereign, that means something. And he just, President Washington, before he was President, "whenever" the representative act contrer to the interest of the people they will be recalled. And, I don't see, how that can be, can connote reelection.
- Chief Justice Rabner: Mr. Schlafly, you've devoted your argument to the constitutional issues, and yet that's not where you start in your papers. Your argument as I understand it is, we shouldn't even discuss them. We shouldn't consider them in resolving this matter - Secretary of State had no right to go down that road. Do you want to argue the restraint point?
Chief Justice, I would like to argue the restraint point. Because what is at issue here is whether the people will be allowed to go forward and petition, which the New Jersey Legislature has already decided is a healthy activity. Which is something that's worked very well in New Jersey. New Jersey's a leader on this issue, and it works extremely well at engaging the populace in the political process. And the issue is whether the people will be able to petition and discuss this issue with their fellow citizens, gather signatures, and so on, and if 1.3 million signatures, which is a very high requirement, is not satisfied, then the case is moot. And what is a request for judicial activism? A request for judicial activism is to ask for a court to go beyond what it needs to do; to assume facts; to, to, to speculate; and here in this case the Senator is asking this court to strike down the New Jersey Constitution, a statute of the Legislature, disregard Washington's letter, alll this other stuff -- he's got no factual record!
- Chief Justice Rabner: I realize this will be hard for you, but I want you to assume that this; the statute is unconstitutional. For the purpose of this question. Then - and the Secretary of State has said so based on the advice of the Attorney General. Assume they're right. You've come to court, and asked us to direct that the Secretary of State file the Notice of Intention and thereby take an act, if you accept the assumption, that is contrary to, to... permissible law. What principled rule would allow us to direct the Secretary of State to do so, and ignore the Constitutional issues altogether?
Chief Justice, the concept of judicial restraint. Many times, the US Supreme Court will look at a law - and they're increasingly doing this, by the way, a facial challenge to a law - and they're saying 'yeah, you may have a point here, but develop a record and come back to us.'
- Justice Albin: They were - but in this case, the Secretary of State is being conscripted into participating in what she believes is an unconstitutional act , and therefore in violation of her oath to defend the federal constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.
Justice Albin, the Constitution, the US Constitution, is silent on the issue. The New Jersey Constitution is quite clear.
- Justice LaVecchia: (unclear)
- Justice Albin: Assume, for the sake of the question that the Chief Justice asked of you, that it's unconstitutional. Therefore, should the Secretary of State be conscripted into furthering an unconstitutional program in violation of her oath of office?
I believe the Secretary of State takes an oath to uphold the New Jersey Constitution as well, Justice Alvin.
- Justice Albin: As, as far as I've read, the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Can we at least agree on that point?
Justice Albin, I do agree on that, where it's expressed, but if they're, if the US Constitution is silent, and the New Jersey Constitution is expressed, I certainly think the Secretary of State would say 'I'm going to comply with the New Jersey Constitution, unless and until it's stricken down. There's nothing contrary to it in the US Constitution. The only thing petitioner's come up with is that senators serve six years. That's not contrary to the ability to recall him.
- Chief Justice Rabner: What, your answer sounds like a concession that it was appropriate for the Secretary of State to evaluate it. She just evaluated it incorrectly.
Yes Chief Justice, I certainly think the Secretary of State should try to abide by all her Constitutional obligations, but I think she made a mistake. And I think the people understand that, uh, the ultimate recall of the senator, which would require the collection of 1.3 million signatures, require him to lose on the recall election, would require him not to win the replacement election, so three things would have to happen. The ultimate recall of the senator, everyone understands that that's going to be decided by the courts. That's, that's understood. But the petitioning activity, has to move forward in compliance with what the people of New Jersey ask, in the New Jersey Constitution and in the Legislature. And were all of those members of the Legislature violating their oath of office, too, when they passed the Uniform Recall Election Law? I don't think so.
- Justice LaVecchia: You can say that any time a con- an unconstitutional statute is passed by the Legislature.
Yes, that is true, Justice LaVecchia, and and I just urge the Court to give the recall election law the presumption of constitutionality that this Court gives to other laws passed by the Legislature. And to give the New Jersey Constitution the presumption of constitutionality. These laws have worked; they've worked well. And unless and until there's some factual record where the Senator is about to actually be recalled from office, I don't think there's anything to decide here.
- Chief Justice Rabner: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Just to put this in historical context, Chief Justice, upholding the people's power to recall fits well within New Jersey's tradition. It was here that the key battles of the American Revolution were won. Our New Jersey governor, Woodrow Wilson, was a Progressive, and he became President just at the time the 17th Amendment was passed. The people of New Jersey place the power to recall in our Constitution, and this honorable Court should give that the presumption of constitutionality. Thank you very much.
- Chief Justice Rabner: Thank you. Mr. Liance, rebuttal?