Conservative Tea Party activists in New Jersey should have the right to try to throw a Democratic U.S. senator out of office, their lawyer argued in a state appeals court Tuesday, even though he acknowledged it is unlikely their effort would succeed.
The appellate panel should wait to weigh in on the group's recall effort against Sen. Robert Menendez until after the activists collect the 1.3 million voter signatures they would need to put the question on the ballot, said lawyer Daniel Silberstein, representing the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez.
"We are not arguing today for Sen. Menendez's recall," Silberstein told the panel. "We are arguing simply for the right to express our dissatisfaction with Sen. Menendez."
The three appeals judges gave no timetable Tuesday for making a decision in the case, which pits the state constitution against the U.S. Constitution.
"Tea party" coalitions have formed around the country to speak out against President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
RoseAnn Salanitri, a spokeswoman for NJ Tea Parties United and the Sussex County Tea Party, which are behind the move to throw out Menendez, said the committee is targeting him because he supports health care reform, which they oppose, and because of his past votes in favor of government spending. She said the group is not pleased with New Jersey's other Democratic senator, Frank Lautenberg, but is not targeting him because at age 86, he is unlikely to seek another term. ...
Comment: I like the idea and wish more state legislators would start considering this idea and put the party politics behind them.