The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas has rejected the lawsuit by state Sen. Kim Brimer, R-Fort Worth, who was appealing a lower court ruling that former Fort Worth City Councilwoman Wendy Davis is eligible to challenge him on the November ballot.Here's a quick history of the case for those that haven't been following along:
A panel of three justices hinted during oral arguments last week that they were reluctant to overturn the ruling by state District Judge Tom Lowe in Fort Worth, who ruled in July that Davis is an eligible candidate. Brimer appealed Lowe's ruling.
But the appeals court in Dallas today upheld Lowe's ruling, saying in its opinion that "Brimer's only legally recognized interest in pursuing this appeal is to avoid being opposed by an ineligible candidate.""Even if Davis is ineligible to hold office -- an issue we do not reach in this appeal -- her name will be included on the November 4, 2008 general election ballot in opposition to Brimer. We cannot, at this point, change that outcome and, therefore, this appeal is moot," the justices wrote.
May 2007: Wendy Davis is re-elected to the Ft. Worth City Council.Davis welcomed the news of the win for her campaign: "I am very pleased with the Court's decision today, and I look forward to continuing my conversation with Tarrant County families about the issues they are facing. What I'm offering voters is a representative who will bring real change to the way Austin does business."
August 2007: Davis officially declares her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Texas State Senate District 10, which covers about half of Tarrant County and is represented by Republican Kim Brimer. She also resigns from her post on the city council, though local law required her to officially keep her seat until her successor is sworn in.
November 2007: Election is held to choose Davis' successor on the city council. It goes to a runoff.
December 2007: Joel Burns wins the runoff.
Early January 2008: Three Ft. Worth firefighters ask Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairman Art Brender to disqualify Davis from running for state senate because she is technically still on the council and state law prohibits sitting council members to run for the state legislature. The same day, Burns is sworn in on the council. The Secretary of State's office would not issue a ruling on Davis' eligibility, saying that Brender is the filing authority in the primary election. Brener issued a statement declaring Davis eligible to run.
Mid-January 2008: The Ft. Worth firefighters issued a court challenge that was dismissed by the Texas Supreme Court. The high court recommended the firefighters take their issue up with the regional appellate court.
Late January 2008: The firefighters lose in appeals court. The court rules that only a political opponent, such as Brimer, has the standing to bring such an eligibility suit.
March 2008: Uncontested in the Democratic primary, Davis officially becomes the nominee.
Early July 2008: Brimer himself challenges Davis' eligibility by filing a suit to have her removed from the November ballot.
Late July 2008: State District Court Judge Tom Lowe rules in favor of Davis, determining that she is eligible to remain on the ballot. Brimer appeals.
August 2008: The deadline to remove a candidate from the ballot passes.
September 2008: A Ft. Worth appellate judge asks that the case be moved to Dallas. The Texas Supreme Court moves the case to the 5th Court of Appeals there.
October 2008: The Dallas appeals court rules in favor of Davis, rejecting Brimer's suit.
Contribute to the Wendy Davis campaign today. Every little bit counts, and she could certainly use your help in her campaign against yet another Republican up to the same old dirty tricks. Kim Brimer has got to go, and with your help and your vote Davis will replace him.