I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Cochran’s brief has been filed…

Here is the Cochran brief

I’ve read through it, and my views of how this comes out have not really changed.  Nothing new– the essential points are the same:  1) The Kellum case says that the statute, read as a whole, has a 20 day deadline for filing the contest; and 2) The statute has not materially changed.  The brief develops their argument that the Barbour v. Gunn case has no impact on Kellum because the 20 day deadline question was not raised in Barbour.  It confronts the amicus brief with three arguments.  First, amici are not allowed to raise arguments not reflected in the record below or in the issues on appeal, something the amicus clearly does here.  Pretty strong language from Mississippi cases is quoted on this point.  Second, there isn’t an election clause issue (that is, an argument that the legislature has to make Congressional election rules, not the courts) because the legislature did make this rule and ratified the court’s interpretation when it readopted the language thereafter.  Third, Bush v. Gore has nothing to do with anything here, which is so, but is an argument that does not get much beyond the negative assertion.

Reading through the briefs is pretty exhausting, which may reflect the feelings of the folks doing this marathon.  I think the time deadlines interfered with both side’s ability to write a tight, well-organized argument, or even time for such details as citing the primary case being argued correctly in the Table of Authorities.

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