Kim, the Line, and the Aftermath: Now What???

So, how does Tammy Murphy’s dropping out impact the ongoing federal suit challenging how “county lines,” or primary endorsements, are awarded in New Jersey?

It changes things quite a bit.

That, at least, is the view of lawyer Mark Natale, who represents the Burlington County Clerk, one of many defendants in the suit.

In a Monday morning filing with Judge Zahid Quraishi, Natale references Murphy’s Sunday exit from the race and notes that Andy Kim now stands to receive the “county lines” throughout the state.

The suit, in which Kim is the lead plaintiff, seeks to end the state’s traditional practice of awarding county lines, and with it, a preferential ballot position.

But now Kim is going to get those lines, which is something he confirmed Sunday night.

From the outset, this has been a balancing act for Kim.

On one hand, he condemns the traditional practice of county leaders backing primary candidates. Yet on the other hand, he has sought such endorsements himself.

His answer has been he has to play the game according to the rules that are in place.

In the cumbersome language of court filings, Natale wrote:

“This new development drastically changes the relevant analysis of irreparable harm, the court’s weighing of the balance of the harms, and it invalidates a large portion of the factual

record in this case. Defendants, having built a factual record and legal defense that applies to a fundamentally different context than the current reality, are now prejudiced without the ability to
supplement the record to fit this paradigm shift in the election.”

In other words, Murphy’s exit means Kim has all the “county lines,” so why continue the suit?

Natale wants an emergency phone conference to discuss the matter,



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5 responses to “Kim, the Line, and the Aftermath: Now What???”

  1. Hey Andy, time to put up or shut up. Will you now stick buy your principles or now kiss the boss’s asses since you have their support?

  2. The court should still decide the primary line issue. In normal instances, it would be moot and the court would dismiss the case. In this instance, the matter should be designated as “capable of repetition, yet evading review” (Roe v Wade 1970). This is not moot even though the Defendant dropped out of the race. If the court were to dismiss it, candidates would be using the court system as their own, personal sword, to get the opponent to yield. The court, the AG, those preparing amicus briefs, the law clerks, have all spent time and resources researching the issue. There are questions of constitutionality that need to be settled. The court can and should decide the case.

  3. The ballot change is long overdue and the court should rule on it even though it may not be relevant to this election, but it will apply to future elections.

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