Robby Starbuck’s legal team filed the required response on Thursday morning with the State Supreme Court to the state of Tennessee’s petition filing which seeks to have Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Perkins’ order adding him to the ballot overturned.
Starbuck had until 10 a.m. to file the response, per the order of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
On Thursday, the court agreed to take up the Tennessee Republican Party’s appeal of the lower court ruling ordering Starbuck on the ballot, as well the state of Tennessee’s petition for common law writ of certiorari and supersedeas.
Starbuck’s team argued that one of the reasons that the state of Tennessee’s petition should be denied is because his team doubts the Tennessee Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.
The Petition should also be denied because it is doubtful that this Court has jurisdiction to grant such a petition. Furthermore, the Petition should be denied because no State officials were necessary parties in this dispute between Mr. Starbuck and the Tennessee Republican Party and the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee (collectively, the “Party”). The trial court’s order impacts them incidentally and affects their ministerial duties, but that in no way exceeds the trial court’s jurisdiction or deprives the State officials of due process.
Starbuck’s filing also argued in the above section, and others, that the state’s petition should be denied because he didn’t sue the state, even though they were issued an order by Perkins.
In its filings, the state argued in part that Perkins’ order should be overturned because he ordered the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office to complete a task when they were not a named party in Starbuck’s lawsuit.
The Tennessee Star previously reported the state of Tennessee noted that Perkins issued an order to the Secretary of State’s office regarding placing Starbuck on the ballot when it was not named a defendant in Starbuck’s suit. Additionally, the state claimed that Perkins’ injunction violated Tennessee law.
Petitioners are not named parties and were not served with process in accordance with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 4. in the chancery court case. Thus, the chancery court has/had no personal jurisdiction over Petitioners and was without authority to enjoin them to restore Plaintiff to the ballot. Additionally, the injunction was issued in violation of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 65.04(1) as Petitioners were not provided notice.
Later in the document, Starbuck’s team flatly states that “This Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over the Petition.” It also argues, “The Petition Should Be Denied Because the Chancery Court Had Authority to Issue the Injunction.”
Mr. Starbuck did not seek to enjoin the State officials. And the trial court did not issue an order enjoining them. All the trial court did was issue an order voiding the Party’s illegal action because it violated TOMA. That has effects on the State officials, once they are provided notice of the ruling, but those are incidental effects which are purely ministerial in nature.
Action by Tennessee Supreme Court is expected to be forthcoming shortly, as they’ve granted expedited review on the case as a whole. A decision by the court on the matter of Robert Starbuck Newsom v. Tennessee Republican Party Et Al. could happen as early as a few hours from press time, or on Friday.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, and Parler.
Photo “Robby Starbuck” by Robby Starbuck. Background Photo “Tennessee State Supreme Court” by Jon698. CC BY-SA 4.0.