Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Baker v. Perdue continues.

You know the story. Baker defended a Senate map that favors Democrats in the federal courts. Sonny told him to stop. He refused. Sonny sued. Since, the Supreme Court has decided the case and hinted that the Senate map is Constitutional. As a result, Baker asked the Georgia Supreme Court to dismiss Sonny's suit, since the relief sought - the dismissal of the Supreme Court case - could not be granted. Now, the Georgia Supreme Court refused, 6-1. In his dissent, Robert Benham agreed with Baker:

Because the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its decision in (the map appeal), the relief the governor sought, that the Georgia attorney general be ordered to dismiss that appeal, is no longer an option. Any decision by this court concerning whether the governor had the authority to direct the Georgia attorney general to dismiss that appeal would amount to an advisory opinion, an improper determination by this court of an abstract question not arising upon existing facts or rights.

This has been reported as a minor victory for Sonny, but in reality, it may simply permit the court to say, once and for all, that Baker has the authority to direct the legal actions of the state, and that Sonny has none.