Hoboken council votes to urge county clerks to drop appeal in county line case


The Hoboken City Council voted last night to urge county clerks to drop their appeal in the case where a judge has ruled to abolish county organizational lines for Democrats in the June 4th primary, something that came to fruition by this afternoon.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The measure, sponsored by Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, cites the initial decision on Friday from U.S. District Court Judge Zahid Quraishi, ruling that county lines are unconstitutional.

” … The Court wishes to make clear that it recognizes the magnitude of its decision. The integrity of the democratic process for a primary election is at stake and the remedy Plaintiffs are seeking is extraordinary,” he wrote, which is included in the resolution.

“Mandatory injunctive relief is reserved only for the most unusual cases. Plaintiffs’ burden on this Motion is therefore particularly heavy. Nevertheless, the Court finds, based on this record, that Plaintiffs have met their burden and that this is the rare instance when mandatory relief is warranted.”

While Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado was the first in the state to withdraw from the appeal, 14 county clerks initially stuck with it, that is until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit declined to issue a stay yesterday.

Since then, all 14 clerks have withdrawn or said they will withdraw, with the Camden County Democratic Organization likely to be the only defendant remaining in the case.

“The abolishment of the line is a significant change in the universe of New Jersey politics, giving power back to the people. This change will help level the playing field – especially for female candidates, minority candidates, and working class representatives who’ve had to work twice as hard to fight against preferential treatment on the ballot. But, our work isn’t done yet,” Jabbour said in a statement issued late last night.

“I urge in the strongest of terms the remaining County Clerks to drop their appeal and continued defense of the undemocratic ‘line.’ Thank you to Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado for doing what is right for Hudson County voters – it is now time for all county clerks to follow this strong example.”

Last month, Jabbour, and later Fisher, joined dozens of current and former female elected officials, as well as candidates, calling to end the line.

After an appeal by the Morris County GOP, arguing that relief could not be granted to Republicans if they did not request it (the lawsuit was filed by U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3), the frontrunner for U.S. Senate, and other Democratic candidates), Quraishi ruled that Republicans coul use the line for the June 4th primary.

The Hoboken City Council approved the resolution unanimously (9-0).

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