02
Apr
10

Through the Intestines of the AMS Judicial System

Student Court met today to deliberate on the case Trasolini v. AMS Elections Committee, AUS Elections Committee. They decided to refrain from passing judgement on the case today, and have now fourteen days to make a ruling.

In the event that they do not make a ruling before the Tuesday turnover date of the AUS, not to worry! AMS Code holds that the rulings of the AMS Elections Committee are to be adhered to while a case is in the process of being appealed to Student Court. Functionally, this means that Brian Platt will become President on Tuesday if one of two conditions are met:

  1. The Student Court dismisses the appeal, maintaining the status quo, or
  2. The Student Court does not rule by next Tuesday.

In the event of case number two, Brian’s Presidency would be in doubt until the Court issued a final ruling. If the Court overturns the ruling of the Elections Committee, Ryan would be the President from either next Tuesday, or whenever the ruling is issued, whichever is later. For this to happen, the Court must find that (From Code § IX.A.14),

(a) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee acted in a manner inconsistent with the Electoral Procedures in the Code or with the procedures
contained in the candidates’ handbook issued by the Elections Committee;
(b) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee failed to consider relevant evidence;
(c) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee acted in an obviously unfair manner; or
(d) the Elections Administrator or the Elections Committee imposed inconsistent penalties for similar offences in the same election or referendum.

During their deliberations, they are bound by certain guiding principles, the most pressing of which, instituted after the Lougheedgate scandal of 2008, is Code § XV.1.6.a, which reads:

The Court shall not make rulings of a political nature, or stray into the area of policy making. To this end, the Court shall interpret the Code, Bylaws, and Constitution of the Society without addition to or omission of any language set out within them.

Functionally this is basically up for the Court to interpret at it’s leisure. Because the Student Court Reform Package didn’t pass, the ruling will still have to go to Council for approval, although new conventions and amendments to Code would make it very difficult for Council to reject a ruling in the same manner in which it did in the past.

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