William Thomas McFarland v. Michael S. Pemberton, et al. - dissenting

William Thomas McFarland v. Michael S. Pemberton, et al. - dissenting
E2014-02176-SC-R11-CV

I cannot join the majority’s decision affirming the dismissal of William Thomas McFarland’s election contest lawsuit. No statute expressly authorizes a county election commission to convene a quasi judicial hearing and resolve a pre-election challenge to a circuit judge candidate’s satisfaction of constitutional residency requirements. Furthermore, the majority’s conclusion that county election commissions implicitly have such authority ignores the fact that, where the General Assembly intends for a county election commission to exercise such authority, it has enacted statutes expressly providing such authority. The majority compounds this error by applying its holding recognizing implicit authority in a manner that negates a statute explicitly granting Mr. McFarland the right to file this election contest lawsuit challenging Michael S. Pemberton’s satisfaction of constitutional residency requirements. Because the majority’s decision is inconsistent with relevant statutes, with longstanding decisions of this Court, and with commonsense, practical considerations, I dissent.

Authoring Judge: 
Justice Cornelia A. Clark
Originating Judge: 
Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood
Date Filed: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017