Garcia Assembly ballot appeal reaches the New Jersey Supreme Court!


In a new development in the Garica Assembly ballot battle, the New Jersey Supreme Court has requested briefs from the lawyer representing the five Hoboken residents due at 3:00 pm today.

The legal team representing Carmelo Garcia will have until Monday noon to submit their brief on the case.

The latest action means the state’s highest court will determine the outcome of whether Carmelo Garcia can run for the 33rd legislative district.

Yesterday, the NJ Appellate Court declined to reverse its decision with a second look at the case with the issue of Carmelo Garcia’s salary being paid in full by the federal government through his position as Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA).  The HHA is part of the federal agency HUD – the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The New Jersey Supreme Court is taking briefs from attorneys in the Carmelo Garcia Assembly ballot case.

The decision at the appellate level does not mean ballots are being printed with Garcia’s name for the June 4th primary.  Hudson County is taking a practical view and has only printed absentee ballots with Garcia listed, about 300 in total.

Flavio Komuves, the lawyer for the five Hoboken plaintiffs called that position by Hudson County prudent adding a request to the NJ Supreme Court asks that all ballot dissemination of any kind be stayed while the merits of the appeal are reviewed.

“We’re asking the New Jersey Supreme Court the same thing we asked the appellate,” Komuves said adding, “As long as there’s a possibility Garcia will be off the ballot, it just risks public confusion and taxpayer expense.”

The emergent appeal before the Supreme Court can go one of three ways.  The Court could decline the case after review of the briefs and allow the appellate court decision to stand or it could rule in favor of Hudson County Judge Peter Bariso’s decision.  The third option is oral arguments could be called and both legal representatives would present their positions before the seven members of the Court.

Carmelo Garcia was contacted for his perspective on the latest development but was not available at the time of publication.

Talking Ed Note: The headline on the Hudson Reporter saying the appellate court “orders 33rd District primary ballots to be printed with Garcia’s name” is incorrect.  The Hudson County Board of Elections is not printing ballots nor has it been ordered to print all the ballots.

Go ahead and break the bad news to the Hudson Reporter if you like.  They’ll no doubt be happy to hear from you.

NJ Supreme Court photo courtesy by arrangement

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